EBRD and ICD sign Memorandum of Understanding to support SMEs in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) signed a Memorandum of Understanding developing joint collaboration to support SMEs in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia.

Under the terms of the memorandum the EBRD and the ICD will aim to establish a US$ 120 million investment fund, to develop and to financially support SMEs across the southern and eastern Mediterranean region (SEMED) through innovative transaction structures. Under the Fund, various financing products will be used such as equity and quasi-equity.

Leveraging on their expertise, the two institutions will contribute to the SME Fund and will explore additional institutional investors and donors to provide adequate resources to support SME financing in the region and the technical assistance needed.

The EBRD President, Sir Suma Chakrabarti said: “We are delighted to launch our collaboration with ICD based on their knowledge of the region and on our successful track record in SME financing.

Hildegard Gacek, the Managing Director for the SEMED region will lead the implementation of this vehicle which will improve access to finance for SMEs – the backbone of the economy and fertile ground for job creation.”

The CEO and General Manager of ICD, Mr Khaled Al-Aboodi said on this occasion: “ICD has put its mission statement in practice for the SME sector by engaging in innovative strategies and alliances that will serve to strengthen SMEs in the Middle East and North Africa, thereby enhancing the impact of socio-economic development. The SME Funds Program, focusing on launching and managing investment vehicles, with a successful track record, is also providing technical assistance to financial institutions and investee companies. The Program is not only supporting access to finance but also favoring inclusive growth.”

About ICD

ICD is a multilateral organisation and a member of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group. The mandate of ICD is to support economic development and promote the development of the private sector in its member countries through providing financing facilities and/or investments which are in accordance with the principles of Shari'a. ICD also provides advice to governments and private organisations to encourage the establishment, expansion and modernisation of private enterprises. The SME Funds Program of ICD, managed by a dedicated team of experts, is supporting ICD’s SME development strategy across member countries.

ICD contact: Nabil El Alami

Tel: +966 26468192

nalami@isdb.org