Morocco: Al Amana Microfinance gets $8 Mln funding from IFC to encourage women in business
The International Finance Corporation provides al Amana Microfinance, one of Morocco’s largest micro lenders, $8 Million loan to support smaller businesses, especially those run by women.
Under the partnership agreement sealed Wednesday, al Amana will use the money to extend its reach to more micro-entrepreneurs and informal enterprises. At least half of the proceeds will be directed to support women and women-owned businesses in rural areas.
The partnership will support increased economic activity in Morocco, job creation, and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic which hit hard the small businesses, leaving many scrambling for funding to maintain operations.
“IFC is a true partner in our time of need,” said Yousef Bencheqroun, Director General of al Amana Microfinance. “Many small enterprises in Morocco suffered during the pandemic and were forced to scale down or temporarily shut operations”, added Mr.Bencheqroun, noting that this new funding will enable al Amana Microfinance to meet the needs of its clients so that they can resume activities to a pre-pandemic level.
For his part, IFC regional director for North Africa, Cheick-Oumar Sylla, said: “Our support to al Amana Microfinance will ensure that many small businesses, especially those run by women, will have access to the funds they need to maintain and grow their operation”.
IFC is a member of the World Bank Group. It is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets.
Al Amana Microfinance is leader in its sector in the MENA region. It counts more than 2,400 employees committed to manage a network of 616 branches of which 86 mobile branches serving remote rural areas.
Al Amana Microfinance serves 322,000 microentrepreneurs as of December 2021 of which 42% were women and 48% in rural areas.