Head of the microfinance division at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA), Nevine Badr El-Din, on Thursday signed 14 contracts with a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to finance microprojects in eight governorates, including Cairo, Fayoum, Minya, Beni Suef, Qena, Sohag, Aswan, and Beheira.
According to Nevine Gamea, head of the SMEDA, signing these contracts comes in line with state policy to support microenterprises and to offer funding for these projects to reach all segments across Egyptian governorates.
She explained that the total value of the contracts signed with associations reached EGP 23.8m, noting that the agency provided this funding through several agreements that were made available as a result of the efforts of the Ministry of International Cooperation, namely the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, which aims at enhancing the marketing capacities of small farmers, along with the Sustainable Agriculture Investments and Livelihoods Project (SAIL) funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Moreover, she said that the funding offered to these organisations will be used to implement about 2,380 microprojects, which creates thousands of jobs for the residents of the eight governorates, noting that at least 25% of these allocations will be funnelled to women-owned projects.
Nevine added that the SMEDA is working to implement the directives of the state and Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil to expand in the microenterprise sector in coordination with civil organisations across the republic. She explained that the strategy aims at reaching the most vulnerable segments and helping them establish projects to improve their living standards.