The loans offered by the Social Fund for Development (SFD), affiliated to the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade, for medium enterprises until mid-June amounted to EGP 1.5bn (US$191.5 million), according to the Head of SFD’s Central Sector for Small Enterprise Finance Nevine Gamea.
Gamea told Daily News Egypt that the SFD is increasingly concerned with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially in light of the government’s strategy to decrease the unemployment rates and to offer employment opportunities in the remote areas of Upper Egypt.
According to Gamea, the SFD aims to lend small and medium enterprises EGP 3bn by the end of 2015.
The SFD had agreed with Pirelli company for automotive tyres to offer loans that amount to EGP 15m to approximately 35 outlets, last week. In return, Pirelli will offer technical support and training for these outlets.
According to Gamea, the loan period that the fund offers is five years, with a value ranging between EGP 750,000 and EGP 1.4m.
“SFD operates in accordance with a special poverty map, especially in the slums,” said Gamea, adding that the aim of this map is to combat poverty using accurate data, which will help achieve growth amounting to 5% by the end of the current fiscal year.
Gamea believes that the agreement with Pirelli is a model for the partnerships between the private sector and the SFD to develop the business community, especially the SMEs in Egypt.
The government targets a 5% growth rate by the end of the current fiscal year through reducing unemployment to less that 11%, in addition to attracting more than EGP 8bn in investments, according to press statements by Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman.
Managing Director of the SFD Soha Soliman said in a previous interview with Daily News Egypt that the total portfolio of the loans targeted by the end of this year is EGP 4.5bn.
According to Gamea, the fund allocated EGP 120m for entrepreneurship projects from the loan, provided by the World Bank, adding that this plan aims
to make these projects the core for huge projects to be added to the industry sector.
According to Soliman, the entrepreneurship projects “are of the most important projects that support the national economy through the creativity factor they have, in addition to exporting their products to abroad, not only in the local market. Moreover, these projects are characterised by continuity and creating more vacancies while expanding”.
Source: Daily News Egypt