Improving Access to Finance for MSMEs in Egypt
In a context of pressing needs to create sustainable jobs for many thousands of school leavers and university graduates in Egypt, a one-day high-level seminar on “How to Improve Access to Finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)” was organised in close collaboration between the European Union funded regional project Enhancement of the Business Environment in the Southern Mediterranean Project (EBESM) and the Industrial Modernisation Centre (IMC).
Policymakers (Ministry of Trade and Industry, Central Bank of Egypt, Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority, General Authority for Investment and Free Zones etc.), financial institutions (Export Credit Guarantee of Egypt, Nilex, Investment Companies, Amwal Financial Investments, The Egyptian Private Equity Association, etc.), bankers, representatives of the private sector, academia, think tanks from Egypt as well as entrepreneurs and EU experts discussed practical solutions to enhance access to finance for Egyptian businesses.
The seminar has taken stock of the reforms needed to enhance the financial inclusion of Egyptian MSMEs, a fabric that constitutes the backbone of the Egyptian economy; and that are key drivers of growth, job creation and poverty reduction.
Based on the results and recommendations of the EBESM study entitled “Assessment of Egyptian Policies to Facilitate Access to Finance for MSMEs”, around 50 seminar participants debated how to overcome the obstacles and challenges that hinder MSMEs access to finance in Egypt and maximise developmental benefits of the new initiatives taken by the Central Bank of Egypt.
Priority actions will be kick-started with the technical support of the EBESM Project. Actionable recommendations and concrete proposals were formulated during the seminar, including banking and non-banking financial instruments needed to further enhance the financial inclusion of MSMEs in the country are:
- Establishing a platform for MSMEs in a partnership with one or more investment houses creating a Mezzanine Fund and a venture capital fund in coordination with existing organisations that would provide technical assistance, capacity building, mentorship, efficient one-stop-shop and incubators so that’s how the whole business cycle can be completed.
- Creating a market intelligence Company to gather data from the company’s external environment, in order to provide a complete picture of its performance.
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