EGYPT – Banque du Caire,one of the leading full-service banks in Egypt has signed a US$31 million (EGP500 million) contract with the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) to finance micro projects as part of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development’s agreement.

The multimillion-dollar deal is in line with Egypt’s strategy to expand financing to micro enterprises to reduce unemployment and support the owners and employees of these projects.

The value of the financing contract will be all directed to Bedaity (My Start) financing project, created by MSMEDA, to provide soft loans for existing micro enterprises.

Chairperson and CEO of Banque Du Caire Tarek Fayed signed the contract on behalf of the bank while MSMEDA was represented by the Executive Director of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA), Nevine Gamea.

Gamea noted that contract with Banque du Caire comes in accordance with the state’s plan to provide soft financing for micro projects and encourage citizens, especially young people and women, to establish such projects, or develop their existing projects.

Gamea further noted that MSMEDA through its Bedaity outfit will continue entering into contracts with major banks that have experience in financing these types of projects in addition to cooperation with hundreds of specialised NGOs so as to increase the portfolio dedicated to financing micro projects in the country.

She explained that Bedaity offers loans up to EGP 30,000 (US$1,860) and targets financing about 50,000 micro projects, during the period of implementation of the project across the country.

According said that, the proportion of projects allocated to women in this contract is about 25% of the total funding adding that thousands of jobs would be created during the implementation of the project.

MSMEDA has been an active player in the country’s financial sector since 1992 and has so far been able to invest about US$180 million (EGP 15.8bn), benefiting nearly 2.7 million customers through intermediaries, led by Banque du Caire, Banque Misr, and hundreds of NGOs.

About US$124 million (EGP 2bn) of this amount has been offered to about 145,000 customers from the beginning of January until the end of September 2019, creating more than 150,000 jobs in all governorates.

Banque du Caire and MSMEDA have inked several financing contracts since 2012 totaling to US$148 million (EGP 2.386bn) financing about 542,000 projects countrywide.