Egypt - Basil Rahmi, CEO of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), has announced the launch of the “Aziza” initiative, aimed at bolstering women-owned MSMEs.

This initiative offers soft loans to women seeking to enhance existing enterprises or kick-start new ventures.

Additionally, it provides comprehensive technical, training, and marketing assistance to ensure the sustained success of these businesses, particularly in the industrial, productive, and agricultural sectors, which have the potential to compete on both local and global stages.

Launched during the International Women’s Day celebrations in March, the Aziza initiative’s funding is accessible through any MSMEDA branch nationwide. Interested parties can also dial the unified number 16733 for full details about the program.

Rahmi highlighted that the initiative aligns with the government’s strategy to bolster MSMEs, helping them transition into the formal economy and reap the benefits of the Enterprise Development Law 152/2020.

Notably, the Aziza initiative’s inauguration was graced by representatives from international partner organizations and officials, reflecting MSMEDA’s robust partnerships aimed at fostering economic and social empowerment for women. Among the officials were Sylvain Merlin, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, and Djibrilla Issa, World Bank’s MENA Practice Manager for Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation.

The event also featured several prominent female entrepreneurs from diverse manufacturing sectors, including furniture, apparel, and traditional attire. They shared how MSMEDA’s array of non-financial services had been instrumental in sustaining and expanding their businesses. Participation in various exhibitions, notably the recurrent “Turathna Exhibition”, was cited as a significant factor in enhancing their product marketing.

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