Launching of the EU/EBRD Advisory Component under the New Financial Inclusion Framework in Egypt

(Source: EEAS)

Launching of the EU/EBRD Advisory Component under the New Financial Inclusion Framework in Egypt

 

Cairo, 23 May 2022

 

Ambassador Christian Berger

 

 

SMEs are the beating heart of our economies.  In the EU 99% of businesses are SMEs, employing more than 100 million people and generating more than half of the EU’s GDP. 

 

The support to PSD and more specifically MSME development has been and will continue to be at the heart of the EU-Egypt cooperation.  The COVID 19 crisis has exacerbated the challenges MSMEs are facing, especially for some groups such as women and youth-led businesses, which will be at the center of our support, through more targeted intervention.

 

Building on the priority of supporting resilient, inclusive and connected economies that work for the people, the EU and Egypt promote an economic transformation that creates decent jobs and opportunities for all, in particular to meet the specific needs of youth, women and girls.

 

The EU, EBRD and Egypt share the common vision that MSMEs play a key role in the path of sustainable and inclusive growth. They represent the majority of the business population and like in the EU they provide the major share of employment in the country. Therefore, their further development is crucial to boost employment and growth in a more inclusive and sustainable way.

 

The EU is fully engaged in supporting Egyptian MSMEs to address the different challenges they are facing. Our support follows an integrated approach and focuses on the following main priorities: 1. promoting better access for SMEs to information and BDSs; 2. strengthening the business enabling environment through better regulations; 3. promoting better skills for the entrepreneurs, professionals and SMEs in general, including digital skills 4. facilitating access to innovation for MSMEs; and 5) facilitating access to finance for MSMEs.

 

The EBRD is a very important and strategic partner of the EU in Egypt  in providing access to finance and support to MSMEs as they represent only 5 per cent of the total loans even if the MSME sector contributes 80% to Egypts GDP in terms of value added and 75% of private-sector employment. MSMEs also need better access to business advice and lending practices that are more responsive to their needs.

 

For these reasons, supporting financial inclusion for MSMEs is a key priority for the EU and the EBRD, and we signed a new comprehensive and innovative programme entitled Egypt Micro and Small Financial Inclusion Programme (€12.5 million and EBRD contribution of €52.5 million) to support the main under-served segments of women-led and youth-led, micro and small businesses.

 

I am very pleased to witness today the launching of the advisory component of this programme. The program will provide a large number of micro and small businesses with tailored advisory services, training and networking, including in the crosscutting themes of digital transformation and green economy. The EBRD has a very solid expertise in this area that has already been proven very successful in previous joint programmes with the EU.  I am sure it will give many micro and small business the possibility to support them in developing and growing their businesses and commercialising your projects in a sustainable and resilient way.

 

Thank you very much.

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