EBRD Boosts Moroccan Women-Led MSMEs with €20 Million Loan

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) on Tuesday announced a 20-million-euro loan to Moroccan Bank of Commerce and Industry (BMCI) to support Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) led by women.

In a move to boost women’s entrepreneurship and business involvement, a project spearheaded by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is set to enhance financial access and guidance for women. The project, highlighted in an EBRD press release, specifically aims to support women-led Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in regions impacted by the September 8, 2023 earthquake.

The financial injection comes in the form of a loan, accompanied by a technical cooperation program funded by the European Union (EU). This program will offer vital support to BMCI, including staff training, internal capacity-building, and skill development. The objective is to ensure a more nuanced understanding of and service to the financial needs of women-led MSMEs.

Additionally, there will be capacity-building and advisory services directly provided to women-led MSMEs to bolster their knowledge and entrepreneurial skills. These initiatives, funded by the EU and EBRD, include non-technical cooperation grants designed as gender-intelligent financial incentives for eligible digitalization investments by women-led MSMEs. The first loss risk cover for areas affected by the September 8 earthquake is funded by EBRD’s Shareholder Special Fund.

This marks the fifth partnership between BMCI and EBRD. The collaboration aims to fortify BMCI’s business model, digital transformation, and practices for more effective collaboration with women-led MSMEs.

As part of EBRD’s response to the Al Haouz earthquake, the Shareholder Special Fund (SSF) will finance first loss risk dedicated to women-run MSMEs in affected regions. This operation is a part of a broader intervention package worth €250 million, running from 2023 to 2025, to rebuild Morocco’s economy in earthquake-affected regions.

This strategic operation enables the bank to swiftly address the consequences of the earthquake while remaining committed to its primary objective of promoting female entrepreneurship in Morocco, as explained by EBRD.

Morocco, a founding member of EBRD since 2012, has been a beneficiary of the bank’s resources. To date, EBRD has invested a substantial €4.3 billion in the country through 96 projects. This ongoing collaboration exemplifies Morocco’s dedication to leveraging international partnerships for sustainable economic growth.

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