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Thursday, 8 July 2021

EBRD launches USD 120 mn Youth in Business program, provides NBE with USD 20 mn credit facility for SME lending

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is launching a USD 120 mn Youth in Business program that will offer young entrepreneur-led SMEs access to financing and technical assistance to offset youth unemployment and high emigration levels, according to a press release (pdf). “Limited capital and gaps in know-how are among the biggest barriers standing in the way of young entrepreneurs’ success,” said Heike Harmgart, EBRD Managing Director for SEMED, adding that the program aims to build “a stronger, fairer economy that works for all.”

The pilot phase includes a USD 20 mn credit facility for the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), to allow the state-owned bank to use for on-lending to SMEs. Other banks will also be eligible to receive financing through the USD 120 mn package. Partner banks and microfinance institutions will also be provided technical assistance to strengthen their lending capacity.

It’s unclear how much individual SMEs could rake in from the program, but the release added that eligible businesses will also be given advisory support to attract, recruit, train and retain employees.

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