The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed an agreement with the Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation in Egypt, to help the institution digitize and expand its services, and support women’s small projects.
Under this agreement, the IFC will assist the Al Tadamun Foundation, which aims to support Egyptian women entrepreneurs who own small projects, by designing and piloting a programme that targets projects and companies run by women and employing one to three employees, which is an important sector in Egypt that receives few services from banks or other formal financial institutions.
The International Finance Corporation will also help the Al Tadamun Foundation develop a five-year action plan to direct expansion and digitization efforts, in terms of customer service, products and channels of communication with customers, which helps the Foundation support a greater number of women.
Achieving financial inclusion, especially microfinance for women, is of great importance in Egypt in particular, where many women are considered the sole breadwinners for the family. Financial inclusion empowers them, by helping them to save, create businesses and establish projects, and support local communities.
Mona Zulfiqar, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation, said: “Microfinance has proven to be a very effective tool to support those who are financially deserving. We are excited to continue our long-term relationship with the International Finance Corporation, and we are keen to complete the successes of that partnership to serve more clients and expand. The scope of our activities will eventually contribute to improving the lives of women nationwide.”
“Women have always struggled to obtain the financing they need to establish and develop their own project, despite the significant role of these projects in economic and social growth,” said Sheikh Omar Sylla, Regional Director for North Africa and the Horn of Africa at the International Finance Corporation. It is based on a long-term partnership with the Solidarity Foundation, which reflects the commitment of the International Finance Corporation to provide aspects of support and assistance to micro-enterprises and businesses, helping them to achieve the desired success and fully exploit their potential.”
It is worth noting that for more than 10 years, the International Finance Corporation has provided advisory services to Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation to help it reach Egyptian women across Egypt and achieve more sustainability.
Since its inception in 1996, the Al Tadamun Foundation has achieved great success as it contributed to improving the living conditions of about two million women by providing the necessary financing to help them expand the scope of their micro-enterprises.
This project is financed by the World Bank Group’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Financing Facility, a joint initiative that promotes sustainable job creation and private sector-led economic growth. The governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden and Switzerland support the fund’s efforts.
The value of the investments of the International Finance Corporation’s development portfolio in supporting the private sector in Egypt amounts to about $1.4bn, in addition to advisory programmes worth $32m, in key areas such as financing climate activities, industries, infrastructure, renewable energy, health care, and achieving gender equality.