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AfDB, EBRD Collaborate to Support Smes in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt

Rabat – The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on September 21, the establishment of a new task force to support MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises) in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. The initiative, known as the Joint North Africa Task Force on Entrepreneurship and MSMEs for jobs impact, was announced during a workshop at the North Africa Regional Office of the AfDB in Tunis, the bank said in a statement.

The collaboration operates under the Framework Partnership Agreement signed by the EBRD and the AfDB in May 2021, aiming to tackle the challenges faced in developing MSMEs through innovative and operational initiatives. Some of the key initiatives of the task force include developing knowledge products and innovative solutions to support the export capacity and growth potential of MSMEs, with a particular focus on start-ups, women-led businesses, youth entrepreneurs, and those linked to regional and local value chains.

One of the notable announcements during the launch was the task force’s support for a special cohort from the Souk At-Tanmia initiative under the EBRD Star Venture Program. The program’s goal is to identify high-potential start-ups and provide them with global expertise to assist in scaling up their operations. Souk At-Tanmia, an AfDB Group initiative that ran from 2012 to 2021, provided substantial technical and financial support to 272 local entrepreneurs.

During the launch event, five shortlisted companies from Souk At-Tanmia Tunisia laureates had the opportunity to present their business ideas in a pitching session.  Two finalists will be selected to receive EBRD support, including mentorship, technical advisory services, and strategic business development guidance from experienced mentors and experts in the entrepreneurship field. The support will extend over an 18-month period, enabling start-ups to further develop their activities and access international markets.

Source: MWN