Bank Al Etihad And FMO Sign Nasira Portfolio Guarantee Program For Covid-19 Support For Smes And Female Entrepreneurs
Amman XX - FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, is pleased to announce the signing of a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee facility with Bank al Etihad. This USD 30 million in JOD equivalent NASIRA facility supports COVID-19 affected Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), including female and young entrepreneurs in Jordan.
The NASIRA guarantee program is co-funded by the European Union as part of its Team Europe package, a robust and targeted EU response to support partner countries’ efforts in tackling the coronavirus pandemic. In supporting the NASIRA guarantee program, the EU aims to address the needs of entrepreneurs, especially SMEs, to help them survive during and after this pandemic.
Bank al Etihad is dedicated to serving the underbanked SME segment in Jordan, including women-led businesses, young entrepreneurs, and start-ups. The COVID-19 crisis has hit SMEs hard in Jordan. In response, Bank al Etihad launched tailor-made financial services, such as the COVID-19 relief fund, to support entrepreneurs in continuing their business (https://www.bankaletihad.com/en/business/sme-covid-19). Additionally, non-financial services are provided in the form of digital capacity-building workshops to strengthen SMEs’ resilience during these difficult circumstances.
To support and strengthen Bank al Etihad’s efforts to address the needs of SMEs, FMO will provide a NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee covering loans provided to SMEs affected by the COVID-19 crisis, including female and young entrepreneurs. The underlying loans will be used for income-generating activities.
The NASIRA loan portfolio guarantee will be complemented with a tailor-made Capacity Development project aimed at supporting Bank al Etihad’s offering to entrepreneurs. This facility is also funded by the EU. The technical assistance will help in strengthening the Bank’s internal capacities to effectively provide financial and non-financial services and develop new and improved products for the target groups.
H.E. Maria Hadjitheodosiou, EU Ambassador in Jordan, stressed the importance of helping SMEs survive during COVID-19 adding “Team Europe aims, among other areas, to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic in our partner countries and help address the challenges faced by entrepreneurs. We are pleased to join forces together with FMO and Bank Al Etihad to tackle financial needs for Jordanian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in supporting the to stay afloat, to stay competitive or to scale-up in the post-pandemic recovery phase.”
Linda Broekhuizen, CEO (a.i.) of FMO, said: “We are very pleased to be able to work together with Bank al Etihad on standing by COVID-19 affected entrepreneurs in Jordan, a country that faced economic and social challenges even before the pandemic. We are looking forward to the start of this new partnership.’’
Nadia Al Saeed, CEO of Bank al Etihad, said: “We are excited to sign with FMO on the loan portfolio guarantee facility under its NASIRA program. We hope to use this partnership to continue to provide SMEs, young entrepreneurs and women-led businesses with more breathing space to adapt to the global pandemic and its economic repercussions.” Al Saeed added, “SMEs are the backbone of our economy; they create jobs and work on revolutionary technologies that support the country. We view this partnership as a way for Bank al Etihad to cater to SMEs through financial and non-financial services.”
In April 2020, the NASIRA program received a €25 million top-up from the European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) on the EU’s initial €75 million contribution to support migrant, female and young entrepreneurs and MSMEs affected by COVID-19, in the EU Neighbourhood and Africa. The Dutch government fund, MASSIF, also provided €7.5 million to NASIRA. The EFSD is an integrated financial package that supports investments in Africa and the EU's neighbouring countries to help achieve the sustainable development goals laid down in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Bank al Etihad
Bank al Etihad was founded in 1978 as a public shareholding company, and has been moving steadily towards boosting its financial status and profitability.
The Bank continues to implement its calculated strategy of client base expansion, risk diversification through widening its range of services and targeting groups from both the retail and corporate sectors.
The Bank attracts a qualified team of young Jordanian professionals and combines a team of experts working relentlessly to further enhance the Bank’s overall achievements, striving for more progress and prosperity to achieve the Bank’s ambitious objectives for the coming years.