The EBRD is strengthening access to local currency loans for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) by signing a credit line with Enda Tamweel, the largest microfinance institution in Tunisia, the Financial reports.
The Bank’s MSME credit line of €5 million (TND17 million) will increase the availability of financing for Tunisian small businesses.
In a country with a population of 11 million people, the SME sector plays an integral role in the Tunisian economy. However, only 15 per cent of MSMEs in the country have bank loans, while 58 per cent has expressed a need for either investments or working capital replenishment, the Financial adds in an article on its website published Thursday.
With TND 816 million of microloans disbursed to 350,000 beneficiaries, the microfinance sector is a key source for MSME finance in Tunisia, with significant potential for growth.
Strengthening access to finance for local MSMEs, in particular in local currency, has been identified as one of the strategic priorities by the government of Tunisia and the EBRD.
Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in September 2012, the EBRD has invested over €730 million across 33 projects in the country. The Bank’s investments aim to support the restructuring and strengthening of the financial sector and the financing of private enterprises, supporting energy efficiency and developing a sustainable energy sector, as well as facilitating non-sovereign financing for infrastructure development, the Financial underlined.
To date, the Bank has also supported 670 small and medium-sized enterprises in the country with business advisory services through its dedicated Advice for Small Businesses programme, it concluded.