Building on over ten years of partnership, IFC announced an agreement with Egypt’s Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation to help the company digitize and expand its services, including to the smallest women-owned businesses in the country.
Under the agreement, IFC will help Al Tadamun, which focuses on supporting women micro-entrepreneurs, design and pilot a program to reach women-run enterprises with one to three employees, an important segment in Egypt that is rarely served by banks or other formal financial institutions.
IFC will also help Al Tadamun develop a five-year business plan to guide its expansion and digitize its customer experience, products, and delivery channels, helping the company reach even more clients.
Financial inclusion, particularly microfinance, empowers women to start saving, build businesses, and strengthen communities – which is especially important in Egypt in particular, where many women are the sole breadwinner of the family.
Over the past decade, IFC has provided advisory services to Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation to help the company increase its sustainability and expand its outreach to women across Egypt. Since its establishment in 1996, Al Tadamun has helped improve the lives of nearly two million women by providing the necessary financing to help them expand their microenterprises.
The project announced is funded by the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Facility, a joint World Bank Group initiative that promotes sustainable job creation and private sector-led economic growth. Governments of Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK collectively support the facility.
IFC has a growing portfolio of nearly $1.4 billion in investment projects and $32 million in advisory programs in Egypt, which support the private sector in key areas such as climate finance, manufacturing, infrastructure & renewable energy, healthcare, and gender.
“Micro-finance has proven to be a very effective tool to support the financially marginalized,” said Mona Zulficar, the Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of Al Tadamun Microfinance Foundation. “We are excited to continue our long-term relationship with IFC and eager to build upon the work that has been done in the past to serve new segments, expand our outreach, and ultimately contribute to improving the lives of the women we serve.”
“Women have long struggled to access the finance they need to start and grow their business, even though they make a significant contribution to economic and social growth,” said Cheick-Oumar Sylla, IFC Regional Director for North Africa and Horn of Africa. “This project, which builds on our long-term partnership with Al Tadamun, demonstrates IFC’s commitment to supporting even the smallest private enterprises and helping them realize their full potential.”