AL Haouz Earthquake: EBRD Provides Morocco with € 20 Million Loan to Support Women-Led MSMEs

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced on November 28 a € 20 million loan to the Moroccan Bank of Commerce and Industry (BMCI) to support women-led Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The banking institution stated that this project aims to promote women’s entrepreneurship and participation in business by improving their access to funding and advice through dedicated credit lines and tailored technical assistance programs, adding that the project will support access to funding for women-led MSMEs in the regions affected by the earthquake that struck Al Haouz region on September 8, 2023.

The same source noted that the loan will be reinforced by a technical cooperation program, funded by the European Union (EU), to provide technical support to BMCI through staff training, internal capacity-building, and skill development to understand and serve the financial needs of these enterprises.

The EBRD also stressed that a grant funded by the European Union (EU) will be awarded to women-led MSMEs for digitalization investment, adding that this initiative, part of the EBRD’s Women in Business (WiB) program, will further promote women’s economic inclusion. 

This investment is the fifth partnership between the EBRD and BMCI, and will further support BMCI in strengthening its business model, digital transformation, and practices to better collaborate with women-led MSMEs and meet their financial needs. 

As part of the EBRD’s response to Al Haouz earthquake, the Bank’s Special Shareholder Fund (SSF) will finance first-loss coverage dedicated to women-led MSMEs located in the affected regions. This loan is one of the early phases of a € 250 million intervention package for the period 2023-2025, announced last month, to rebuild Morocco’s economy in the earthquake-affected regions. 

The EBRD stressed that this operation will allow the EBRD to rapidly respond to the consequences of the earthquake while remaining fully committed to the main objective of promoting women’s entrepreneurship in Morocco. 

Morocco is a founding member of the EBRD and became a beneficiary of Bank resources in 2012. To date, the EBRD has invested €4.3 billion in the country through 96 projects.

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