EBRD fosters small businesses in Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib

EBRD and Banque de Tunisie strengthen smaller enterprises in Tunisia

  • EBRD €5 million loan to Compagnie Internationale de Leasing to support Tunisian SMEs
  • Funds to boost small local businesses
  • Loan will help bridge long-term financing gap in the sector

The EBRD is strengthening the competitiveness of small firms in Tunisia by increasing the availability of funds, with a €5 million loan to Compagnie Internationale de Leasing (CIL).

Access to finance and liquidity constrain the growth of many private businesses in the country. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are the core of the Tunisian economy, accounting for more than 80,000 companies and 40 per cent of the country’s GDP. Small firms employ more than half of the population.

The EBRD funds will help CIL to finance small local businesses, a segment that remains largely underserved and therefore cannot fulfil its potential.

CIL is among the five largest leasing companies in the country. It is listed on the Tunis Stock Exchange and majority-controlled by a group of local investors.

Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012, the EBRD has invested €874 million across 42 projects and provided technical assistance to nearly 1,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), two-thirds of which are in the regions.

The Bank’s investments aim to make Tunisia more competitive by opening markets and strengthening governance, promote economic inclusion for women, young people and those living in remote areas, strengthen the financial sector’s resilience an