MEII runs a number of programs to improve access to credit in the MENA region. Beginning in Palestine and expanding to Tunisia, and most recently, Jordan, our work also includes a number of different financial mechanisms. Here are several examples of those programs in action.
SWEDISH GUARANTEE FACILITY
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII) developed a multi-million, multi-year guarantee facility (SGF) and technical assistance program (TAP) to support the marginalized economies of East Jerusalem; the Gaza Strip; and Area C of the West Bank.
TUNISIA CREDIT GUARANTEE FACILITY
The Tunisia Credit Guarantee Facility (TCGF) stimulates SME lending by providing local banks with guarantees for loans to bankable franchises and SMEs. Working with the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and USAID, MEII is promoting the nascent franchising sector in Tunisia, and supporting bankable Tunisian SMEs access to finance by developing a US$ 50 million loan guarantee facility.
Loan Guarantee Facility
The West Bank/Gaza Loan Guarantee Facility (LGF) was MEII’s first facility launched in 2008 in collaboration with the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), and Government of Norway. The US$ $160 million facility was designed to stimulate local bank lending to revive the Palestinian private sector.
FINANCIAL LITERACY AND MATCHMAKING PLATFORM
The Financial Literacy and Matchmaking Program (FLMP) is designed to address this communication gap by developing the accounting and financial literacy of SMEs. Working one-on-one with entrepreneurs, a team of MEII business advisors will deliver a tried and tested technical assistance program directly to entrepreneurs who want to better understand their businesses’ financial performance. Equipped with better financial understanding of their businesses, entrepreneurs can transparently present their financial needs on an innovative matchmaking platform to multiple financial intermediaries including banks, leasing companies, equity investors, and microfinance institutions.