EBRD, QNB ALAHLI join forces to support woman entrepreneurs in Egypt

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has offered a senior loan of $20 million to QNB ALAHLI for on-lending to local small businesses (SMEs) in Egypt.

The loan is the first under the EBRD’s new Egypt Women in Business programme which aims to strengthen the role of women in the economy. It provides access to finance through credit lines to local banks as well as business advice, training, and support for women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses.

QNB ALAHLI plays a significant role as to contribute to the country’s economic and social development and to enhance the trend towards financial inclusion, especially the promotion SMEs. The bank is keen to operate alongside with EBRD working on endorsing the financial Platform for SMEs in Egypt.

Financing to QNB ALAHLI will be complemented by a technical cooperation programme to provide technical support to the bank and other partner financial institutions, through capacity-building and skill development to develop a better understanding and financial services tailored to the needs of women-led SMEs.

In addition to financing, capacity-building and advisory services will be delivered directly to women-led SMEs to support women entrepreneurs’ know-how, via outreach events, including Women in Business seminars, organised by QNB ALAHLI and other partners.

SMEs are a priority for the EBRD in Egypt as they are a major source of job creation. For many small enterprises limited access to finance remains an obstacle that holds them back from fulfilling their potential to generate growth and provide jobs.

“This new loan underlines the EBRD’s commitment to supporting the development of small businesses throughout the country and to promoting lending to women entrepreneurs.” EBRD President Suma Chakrabarti said.

The EBRD has recently opened a second office in Egypt in Alexandria, underscoring its commitment to reaching out to the regions. The Alexandria team will be working primarily on support for small businesses.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD and has been receiving investments by the Bank since 2012. To date, the Bank has invested €3 billion in 66 projects in the country. The EBRD’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services, and support for transport services. The EBRD has also provided technical assistance to more than 600 SMEs in the country so far.

“We are pleased to continue our successful partnership with EBRD aiming to help women entrepreneurs and give further support the women in the Egyptian labour market and encouraging them to participate in the ownership, management, and development of various projects and help them to find the tools necessary to meet the challenges of the labor market.” Mohamed El Dib, Chairman and Managing Director of QNB ALAHLI said

“QNB ALAHLI is keen to facilitate the procedures for obtaining all banking services, and financial consultation for projects that women share in their ownership and management.”

QNB ALAHLI is one of the leading financial institutions in Egypt established in April 1978. It is the second largest private bank in Egypt. It is a full service bank that organizes various commercial services in a balanced model that includes corporate, individual and SMEs banking services,  The bank’s existing network of +200 branches  all over Egypt , which in turn serves more than 850,000 customers in Egypt, Plus a call center available around the clock, which would facilitate access to the banking system, combined with the latest innovative payment solutions such as m Visa, Mobile Banking, internet banking, and various online banking services.