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EBRD and EU support young entrepreneurs in Egypt

By Nibal Zgheib

  • EBRD signs a loan of up to EGP 200 million with Reefy Micro-Finance Enterprise Services
  • Investment to finance Egyptian youth-led or owned MSMEs in Egypt, mainly microbusinesses
  • Donor support from the European Union

The EBRD is supporting young entrepreneurs in Egypt with a loan of up to EGP 200 million (approximately €6 million) to Reefy Micro-Finance Enterprise Services (Reefy), the first licensed microfinance institution in Egypt and one of the country’s largest micro lenders.

Supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) led or owned by young entrepreneurs is essential to help the Egyptian economy absorb the financially underserved but ever-growing number of young people joining the labour market and open up their economic opportunities.

The loan is provided under the EBRD’s Youth in Business (YiB) programme and will be used to mainly support privately-owned micro-enterprises that are led or owned by entrepreneurs under the age of 35, with a special focus on borrowers located outside of Cairo and Alexandria. Eligible businesses will also receive incentive grants provided by the European Union (EU), of up to 10 per cent of the total sub-loan amount.

The YiB programme will also offer capacity-building and advisory services to help Reefy better understand and serve the financial needs of young entrepreneurs on the one hand, and to boost the young entrepreneurs’ business skills and entrepreneurial mindset through non-financial services on the other.

This is the EBRD’s second loan to Reefy, following a successful Women in Business loan signed in 2021, and the fourth YiB loan under Egypt’s YiB Programme.

Egypt is a founding member of the EBRD. Since the start of its operations there in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €10.3 billion in 164 projects. 

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