Finance for Impact has received an EBRD mandate to investigate constraints on trade finance / SME finance in Egypt and Morocco. Access to finance is recognized to be key to the future outlook of these countries, in particular for SMEs engaged in cross-border trade.

Recent assessments conducted by Finance for Impact in MENA have provided evidence that more than half of applications for credits and trade finance solutions turned down by banks come from SMEs, suggesting that entrepreneurs and small business owners are particularly impacted by this trend.

In the MENA region, there is an obvious need to intensify efforts towards promoting and consolidating concepts of financial inclusion, including the financing of export and import SMEs. Previous research done by Finance for Impact indicated that financial inclusion can significantly enhance competitiveness among financial institutions and leads to greater diversification of financial services.

The forthcoming Finance for Impact assessment for Egypt and Morocco will not only be analyzing the financial commitment necessary for the finance sector to ramp up its support to SMEs in the two countries but also provide market intelligence for the expansion of African trade.