EBRD invested over €2.3 billion in Egypt through 43 SMEs since the start of its activities at the end of 2012 - press photo
CAIRO - 9 March 2017: The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the European Union (EU) celebrated Thursday the conclusion of the 500th advisory project for small businesses in Egypt, under the bank’s Advice for Small Business Program, funded by the EU, according to an EBRD press release.
EBRD hosted an event in Cairo which was attended by the Chargé d'Affaires of the EU delegation to Egypt Mr. Reinhold Brender, business representatives and international donors.
The support of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) is an integral part of the impact the EBRD’s work is having in Egypt by playing an important role in strengthening economic resilience.
“We are very happy about this achievement. SMEs are a priority for the EBRD in Egypt as they are the largest job creators in the country,” Janet Heckman, EBRD Managing Director for the southern and eastern Mediterranean and Director for Egypt, said. “Up to 90 percent of all employment opportunities come from this part of the economy and this is especially important to reduce youth unemployment. Many small businesses are also run by women and support for these enterprises is crucial.”
The EBRD’s Advice for Small Business program offers diversified market experiences through working with local and international markets.
The partnership between the EU and Egypt is founded on the Association Agreement signed in 2004.
“We are proud to provide expertise, knowledge and funding to vital Egyptian businesses,” EBRD Managing Director of SME Finance Claudio Viezzoli said. “Finance alone is not enough for the growth of this sector - through our business advice, we are helping transform the performance of thousands of small businesses leading to sustainable and inclusive growth in markets across the country and the region,” he added.
The EBRD has invested over €2.3 billion in Egypt through 43 projects since the start of its activities in the country at the end of 2012. The Bank’s areas of investment include the financial sector, agribusiness, manufacturing and services, as well as infrastructure projects such as power, municipal water and wastewater services and support to transport services.