The European Bank for Reconstruction & Development has approved a €9.7 Million loan to Fondation Albaraka, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Morocco for on-lending to local micro enterprises.
Access to finance through banks remains extremely limited for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Morocco. The EBRD funds will offer much-needed support for MSMEs and contribute to greater financial inclusion and more employment opportunities in the country.
This financing to Albaraka will help expand its lending capacity to MSMEs and contribute thus to the development of entrepreneurs and small businesses in Morocco.
Marie-Alexandra Veilleux, the EBRD Director for Morocco said: “We are very pleased to partner with Albaraka through a loan in local currency contributing to the development of very small businesses in Morocco which are the backbone of the economy.”
This partnership with EBRD will enable Albaraka to continue its mission in financial inclusion and the promotion of income-generating activities in Morocco by providing financing tailored to the specific needs of micro entrepreneurs and small businesses, the Founder and President of Albaraka, Mouatassim Belghazi, said.
In 2017 the EBRD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Morocco to pave the way for lending to SMEs in local currency, mitigating their exposure to exchange rate volatility.
Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a country of operations in 2012. To date, the Bank has invested over €1.4 billion in over 42 projects in the country. The Bank has also supported more than 340 Moroccan SMEs by providing business advisory services.
Albaraka is the third largest microfinance institution in Morocco by assets with a market share of 18 per cent. The company provides all types of standard microfinance products and operates through 214 branches across Morocco.
Albaraka was founded in Rabat in 1996 as a non-profit NGO dedicated to financing and supporting micro entrepreneurs in Morocco.