Visa Foundation has announced providing $250,000 in funding to support micro and small businesses in Egypt. The funding includes grants to programmes that provide training, support services, and access to capital to these types of business, with a gender inclusive and diverse lens.
The Education for Employment (EFE-Egypt) association is the local recipient of the Visa grant. It was founded in 2007 to give youth a brighter future and help businesses find the skilled entry-level employees their industries demand. The organization received the funding to create inclusive economic growth by providing Egyptian women employment through job placement and entrepreneurship training.
The funding is part of Visa Foundation’s Equitable Access Initiative, a $200m strategic commitment announced in April 2020 to address longer-term needs of micro and small businesses, with an emphasis on fostering women’s economic advancement, which will be critical to long-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Micro and small businesses are the backbone of the economy. It is crucial to empower owners of these businesses and entrepreneurs with resources, knowledge and skills that can support them in rebuilding -or starting- stronger businesses in the current context,” said Malak El Baba, Visa’s Country Manager for Egypt. “At Visa we are proud that Visa Foundation is funding organizations such as Education For Employment that are addressing the needs and helping to unlock barriers for funding that gender diverse and inclusive projects face in Egypt, and in doing so, helping build stronger communities where everyone can thrive.”
Micro and small businesses account for more than 90% of global businesses and nearly 60% of global employment. There is a $300bn annual credit deficit in funding for women-owned small and micro businesses globally, which is expected to grow given the current economic crisis’s impact.
“Now more than ever, equitable and efficient access to resources and capital is crucial for micro and small businesses’ sustainability and growth,” said Graham Macmillan, President of the Visa Foundation. “Visa Foundation is committed to funding organizations that help enable micro and small businesses seeking to advance a more inclusive economy.”