Micro-enterprises: IFC grants $8 million to Al Amana Microfinance

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To support micro-enterprises and women entrepreneurs in Morocco, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Al Amana Microfinance announce a new partnership. Thus, 8 million dollars will be available to the microfinance operator to help improve access to financing.

The pandemic has hit Moroccan micro-enterprises hard, putting them in a difficult situation to maintain their activities. Access to financing remains a recurring problem in Morocco, which weighs particularly heavily on women, and even more so on those living in rural areas. It is in this logic that a new initiative is added to the actions already launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, and Al Amana Microfinance, leader of the microfinance sector in Morocco.

Indeed, the two institutions are launching a new program to improve access to financing for micro-enterprises in the country. These are particularly those headed by women. The objective is to support economic activity, job creation and at the same time ensure post-Covid recovery. To do this, IFC will provide financing of $8 million to Al Amana Microfinance.

“IFC is a trusted partner for us in difficult times. Many micro-enterprises in Morocco have faced immense difficulties during the pandemic and have had to scale down or temporarily cease their activities. This new financing will allow us to meet the needs of our customers so that they can restart their activities and regain their pre-pandemic level,” says Youssef Bencheqroun, Managing Director of Al Amana Microfinance.

This budget will enable the micro-finance operator to strengthen its impact and cover more micro-entrepreneurs and informal businesses. Note that at least half of the loan will go to support women and women-owned businesses.

“Our support for Al Amana Microfinance will improve access to financing for many micro-enterprises, including those run by women, and to continue their activities”, notes, for his part, Cheick-Oumar Sylla, director IFC regional office for North Africa. And to add that “thanks to this financing, IFC thus reaffirms its confidence in microfinance organizations to continue to support the most underserved micro-enterprises, which are facing a difficult economic situation and the pandemic”.

IFC’s financing for Al Amana is part of its “Base of the Pyramid” program, launched in 2021 to encourage financial service providers to facilitate access to finance for micro-enterprises facing the crisis. The “Base of the Pyramid” program is an extension of IFC’s “Fast Track Covid-19 Facility” initiative.

It should be noted that Al Amana Microfinance and IFC have been partners since 2006, through a technical assistance program. The international institution provided financial support to Al Amana, in 2007 and 2018, with technical assistance to help it strengthen its risk management, support its digital transformation and raise its governance and environmental and social practices to the highest standards. international.

Al Amana Microfinance has more than 2,400 employees who run a network of 616 branches, including 86 mobile branches serving isolated rural areas. At the end of December 2021, the institution served 322,000 active loans, of which 42% to women and 48% to rural areas, for outstanding loans exceeding 2.7 billion dirhams.

Sanae Raqui / ECO Inspirations

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