A EUR 15m loan has been signed between PROPARCO (subsidiary of Agence Française de Développement) and Arab Tunisian Lease (ATL), with the aim of supporting Tunisian MSMEs
Tunisia has over 80,000 SMEs. They account for over half of employment and 40% of GNP. They are a real engine of Tunisia’s economy in terms of growth, export, investment, employment and innovation. However, they face constraints in financing their activity, especially in the current context which is compounded by the Covid-19 crisis.
Leasing has developed considerably in Tunisia since the 2000s. It offers a financing solution that is very much in demand from companies, especially SMEs, for their investments in equipment. PROPARCO supports this activity by lending directly to leasing companies in order to increase and diversify their capacity to finance private investments.
With this loan, PROPARCO is entering into a partnership with ATL, a longstanding player in the leasing sector that operates nationwide in Tunisia via its network of 11 branches.
“We are pleased to be supporting a player recognized in the sector for supporting Tunisian MSMEs, especially in a difficult context exacerbated by the health crisis”, said Amina Ben Abdelkarim, who is responsible for PROPARCO’s development in Tunisia. “Leasing is a key tool for financing microenterprises and SMEs in Tunisia. They account for 85% of ATL’s clients. This project is fully in line with PROPARCO’s priorities and France’s Choose Africa initiative”, she added.
Launched in Ougadougou by the French President, the Choose Africa initiative supports entrepreneurs on the continent: AFD Group makes all its tools available to start-ups, microenterprises and SMEs to finance and assist them at the various stages of their development, particularly through local partners supported by the Group.
Zouhaier Tamboura, General Manager of ATL, welcomed the signing of this loan agreement, which will contribute to addressing the lack of refinancing resources which affects Tunisia’s leasing sector. It will also allow ATL to increase its strength.