Egypt’s Minister of Local Development Mahmoud Shaarawi has revealed that the Mashrouak (Your Project) programme, part of a wider Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) initiative, has set up about 164,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with loans of EGP 17.3bn.
Shaarawi also said that the Mashrouak programme has provided close to 100,000 job opportunities in SMEs since its launch until the end of 2020.
In a statement on Saturday, he stressed that his ministry is always looking to empower women economically, especially in villages, and to provide an income that helps them to have a decent life.
This will take place through Mashrouak programme loans to establish SMEs, with the minister noting that about 35% of the total number of projects have been implemented by women.
Commercial activity accounted for the greatest number of projects implemented, representing 64% of the total, followed by the agricultural activity with 15%, the service activity with 11%, and industrial activity at 10%.
Shaarawi said that cooperation protocols have been signed with the Egyptian banks participating in the project, to increase the lending rates in the next stage. The move is also expected to activate the joint marketing work teams to market services.
He explained that during the coming period, focus will be placed on the level of quality provided by projects and services, as well as expansion and providing advanced financial and technical services.
Attention will also be given assisting clients in marketing their products, and supporting projects with appropriate technologies and feeding industries.
The minister pointed out that the main objective of the Mashrouak programme is to provide many job opportunities, especially for youth and those women who are their families’ main breadwinner. This will help to achieve sustainable development and limit the movement of population from villages to cities.