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EBRD supports women entrepreneurs and energy efficiency in Egypt

By Nibal Zgheib

EBRD First Vice President, Phil Bennett and NBE's Chairman, Hisham Okasha at a signing ceremony in London, EBRD HQ.
The EBRD is partnering with National Bank of Egypt (NBE) to introduce new lending products in the Egyptian market. The package includes a US$ 20 million Women in Business Programme loan and a US$ 30 million Energy Efficiency facility. Both credit lines will address areas that are a priority for Egypt, namely facilitating access to finance for women-led micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The Women in Business Programme will address challenges female entrepreneurs face in obtaining finance by providing a dedicated credit line and helping NBE reach out to MSMEs led by women. The programme will also provide tailored advice and training to increase the know-how and networking opportunities for women-led SMEs.
The pilot energy efficiency programme will provide finance for private-sector investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Projects financed under the framework will contribute to Egypt’s energy security by improving efficiency in the corporate sector and promoting the use of renewable energy.
Phil Bennett, EBRD First Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are very happy to partner once again with NBE to further support the private sector in Egypt and to support women in business, contributing to greater inclusion which is one of the EBRD’s priorities. In addition, improving energy efficiency and increasing the use of renewable energy are effective responses to the announced reform of energy subsidies in Egypt.”
Hisham Okasha, NBE's Chairman said: "NBE continues to play a pivotal role in the development of the Egyptian economy and in providing support to its different sectors by obtaining the needed financing and making it available to the priority sectors.
NBE is proud to partner with the EBRD in introducing two pilot financing programmes to the Egyptian market. These financing facilities, totalling US$ 50 million targeting women entrepreneurs and private sector investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy related projects."
This financing package marks  a continuous collaboration between the two institutions aiming at providing support to the Egyptian private sector.
National Bank of Egypt, the oldest and largest commercial bank in the country, was founded in 1898. It is a market leader in terms of total assets, with a 24.6 per cent market share. The bank has the largest branch network in Egypt with 347 branches and outlets distributed throughout the country and more than1,800 automatic teller machines.
To date, the EBRD has committed over €680 million to finance 20 projects in Egypt, including two regional projects, across a wide range of sectors. The Bank has also facilitated direct technical assistance through its Small Business Support programme, which has benefited approximately 185 Egyptian SMEs so far.
In the southern and eastern Mediterranean region, the EBRD has invested more than €1.5 billion across 53 projects since it began working there in 2012.
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