Magazine article The Middle East

Jordan: Narrowing the Gender Gap with EBRD Support

Magazine article The Middle East

Jordan: Narrowing the Gender Gap with EBRD Support

Article excerpt

EBRD support will help women involved in MSMEs in Jordan

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The EBRD is providing a loan of up to $ 2 million in local currency to the Microfund for Women (MFW) for on-lending to female entrepreneurs in Jordan.

Access to finance through banks remains extremely limited for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Jordan, a country that is also particularly exposed to the crisis caused by the civil war in neighbouring Syria, with refugees currently representing 20 per cent of Jordan's population.

The EBRD funds will offer much-needed support for MSMEs and contribute to greater financial inclusion and more employment opportunities for women and people living in less-advantaged regions. Donor-funded support will specifically address the needs of refugees who want to start businesses.

MFW is the largest microfinance institution (MFI) in Jordan and an important contributor to the development of entrepreneurship among women and to support for refugees. Since 2016, the Fund has extended loans to refugees in Jordan who do not have access to other MFIs in the country.

Technical cooperation funds provided to MFW by the EBRD Southern and Eastern Multi-Donor Account and the EBRD Shareholder Special Fund will strengthen institutional and skill development in lending to refugees.

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Opportunities for Jordanian women do exist but they need to be opened up across the board

Alain Pilloux, Vice President, Banking at the EBRD, said: "We are very pleased to team up again with MFW in support of women entrepreneurs and Syrian refugees. …

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