Today the European Commission has signed a technical assistance agreement with FMO, the Dutch development bank, to train entrepreneurs and support local banks in serving new customer groups, such as women, migrants and young people. FMO will co-finance the €4 million agreement with more than €1 million from its own resources.
FMO has also signed the first ever risk-sharing facility for refugee entrepreneurs from the Syrian crisis. FMO is sharing risks with Tamweelcom, a Jordanian microfinance institution, to offer access to finance through small loans to Syrian refugee entrepreneurs.
Both agreements will facilitate the implementation of NASIRA programme, one of 28 financial guarantees backed by the EU External Investment Plan. NASIRA, which means “the helper” in Arabic, addresses the high risks involved in lending to under-served entrepreneurs. It will enable small business owners to access affordable loans through local banks, microfinance institutions and other non-banking financial institutions.
The EU’s guarantee of up to €75 million will enable FMO to mobilise between €500 million and €1 billion in overall investment and create or support hundreds of thousands of jobs in the EU Neighbourhood region and in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2018 the EU allocated 28 guarantees as part of the EU External Investment Plan which aims to leverage much more investment than would otherwise be possible in the EU Neighbourhood region and in Sub-Saharan Africa. The 28 guarantees amount to €1.54 billion and are expected to leverage around €17.5 billion in investment by 2020.
FMO is the lead financial institution for NASIRA and for another EU guarantee programme entitled FMO Ventures Programme. Investors, project promoters and other potential partners interested in these two EU guarantee programmes may contact FMO directly.
- Publication date
- 19 June 2019
- Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations