The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has teamed up with Egypt’s largest commercial bank to launch a Women in Business (WIB) programme aimed at strengthening the role of female entrepreneurs in the Egyptian economy.
This programme is being launched in collaboration with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), providing a comprehensive package of financial and technical support for Egyptian women who are either starting up or expanding their companies.
This collaboration expands on earlier work the two banks have done together in supporting women entrepreneurs in Egypt – in 2014 the EBRD provided a credit line of US$ 20 million to NBE for on-lending to women-run businesses.
Under the programme, the EBRD’s financial support will be bolstered by the delivery of technical support, including tailored advice and training funded by the EU Neighbourhood Investment Facility, the SEMED Multi-Donor Account* and the SEMED Cooperation Funds Account. This will increase the know-how and networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Philip ter Woort, EBRD Director for Egypt, said: “Support and development of women entrepreneurs has the potential to be an important driver of growth for Egypt and result in a more inclusive and sustainable economy, which is one of the EBRD’s priorities. We are very happy to be launching this Women in Business programme with our partner NBE which will contribute to achieving this objective.”
Mahmoud Montaser, NBE Vice Chairman, said: "Both EBRD and NBE have worked together on this programme with consultants from Frankfurt School of Finance and Management (FSFM), analysing both market and NBE data to make it as useful and supportive as possible. I would like to thank the EBRD teams in Cairo and London and FSFM for their efforts.”
The EBRD has invested in excess of €1 billion in Egypt through 27 projects (including regional) since the start of its activities in the country at the end of 2012. The Bank’s investments include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater and contributions to the upgrade of transport services.