File - Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr
CAIRO - 18 April 2019: The World Bank gave its final approval to a new project worth $200 million for supporting reforms aimed at securing further jobs for young people and women in Egypt.
The project is meant to increase the volume of credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), for being a key source of economic growth.
In a statement released on Thursday, Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said the project comes within the framework of ongoing cooperation between the Investment and International Cooperation Ministry and the Micro, Small & Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSME), with a view to backing entrepreneurs, especially women.
"Our partnership with the World Bank Group aims to enable women and young people to become successful entrepreneurs. This investment provides several opportunities for improving Egyptians' standard of living, through creating jobs and establishing a strong foundation for the country's economy," the statement quoted Nasr as saying.
The project targets increasing seed capital and early-stage capital, as well as capital risk available to innovative startups facing higher risks and newly-established SMEs with great potential for growth and job creation, the statement read.
ِUnder the project, around USD 50 million will be directed to private-managed risk management institutions, such as investment funds, business accelerators, venture capital funds and investment companies, for the purpose of outlining the initial stages of the Egyptian investment system, the statement noted.
For her part, Marina Weiss, Regional Director of the World Bank office in Egypt, Yemen and Djibouti, said "Egypt has shown a strong commitment to reforming its economy. Its reforms have begun to bear fruit, enabling the private sector to secure jobs which is an integral part of achieving a sustainable and overall growth".
Also, she added that the WB is proud to support entrepreneurs across the country, notably women and young people.
The new program hinges on the success of the existing project "Promoting Innovation for Financial Inclusion", which enables SMEs to get access to funding and promotes job creation in the private sector nationwide.