World Bank loans Egypt $300m to support small businesses

Ahram Online, Thursday 3 Apr 2014

Fund to target over 130,000 small businesses in marginalised areas and boost youth and women's access to economic opportunity

Washington-based World Bank (Photo: Reuters)

The World Bank has approved a LE2.1 billion ($300 million) loan to Egypt for a project targeting small businesses in more rural and underprivileged areas, the bank announced on Tuesday.

The money will optimise Egypt's micro and small enterprises (MSEs), which will open the door for job creation in the private sector, the bank said.

The five-year project is set to reach over 130,000 MSEs, 37 percent of which are owned by women.

In Egypt, small and young enterprises are the main source of new job opportunities, generating more than 85 percent of jobs in non-agricultural private sectors, and representing 40 percent of total employment.

“The project will reach out to remote, rural and underprivileged areas in Egypt,” said Sahar Nasr, the World Bank's lead economist and project team leader.

“It will unleash opportunities and provide income-generating activities to youth, women and entrepreneurs in marginalised areas. The project will provide people with economic opportunities and contribute to improving their lives at this critical transition period in Egypt,” Nasr pointed out.

The World Bank's current portfolio in Egypt includes 24 projects for a total commitment of LE32.1 billion ($4.6 billion), as well as 43 trust fund grants worth LE1.3 billion ($190.2 million). 


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