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AFD is mobilizing a EUR 50m credit line for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) to support women’s entrepreneurship in Egypt. This financing is combined with technical assistance (EUR 1m grant) to support the implementation of a proactive gender policy and the development of a wide range of financing solutions tailored to businesses run by women.

The economic crisis that shook Egypt due to the Revolution in 2011 has increased barriers to business development and reduced job opportunities in the private sector. Women are a particularly vulnerable segment of the population and are especially affected by these issues of integration into the labor market: 20% of MSMEs are owned by women, but less than 5% of them have access to financing.

MSMEDA is the key public agency in Egypt’s ecosystem. It has been improving the MSME sector for 25 years by offering financial services and technical assistance. AFD’s support to MSMEDA aims to help reduce inequalities by promoting women’s entrepreneurship and creating job opportunities for women.

This new operation to support African microenterprises and SMEs is also part of France’s Choose Africa initiative implemented by AFD Group. With Choose Africa, AFD Group will earmark EUR 2.5bn to finance and support 10,000 start-ups, microenterprises and SMEs in Africa over the period 2018-2022.