Small and medium-sized enterprises play a key role in economic growth and job creation. They need financial resources to develop their activity, but their access to financing remains limited, often because banks consider them as risky clients.
To facilitate their access to credit and thereby promote their development, AFD Group has launched the EURIZ guarantee scheme, with financial support from the EU and Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS).
The objective of EURIZ is to facilitate access to credit in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) region for SMEs with a high development impact and any type of SME in fragile countries.
The EURIZ guarantee allows partner financial institutions (public and private banks, specialized financial institutions), to which SMEs in the ACP region could apply to obtain a loan in local currency, to call on PROPARCO or AFD to guarantee part of the risk associated with the loan.
The EURIZ guarantee scheme makes it possible to either:
- Support access to financing for SMEs in fragile countries (Chad, DRC, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mali, Niger…) by offering a guarantee covering up to 50% of the loans proposed by partner financial institutions to all types of SME;
- Support access to credit for SMEs with a high development impact by offering a guarantee covering up to 70% of loans.
SMEs with a high development impact are those operating in the agriculture, health, education, digital and inclusive economy sectors, but also young start-ups, companies majority-owned by women or young people under 25 and green SMEs, which are facing increased difficulties in obtaining financing.
Through the EURIZ guarantee scheme, a maximum of EUR 181m of guarantees may be allocated to local public banks, via AFD, or private banks, via PROPARCO, that want to finance key players in their local economies.
The scheme also comprises a technical assistance component which helps financial institutions develop a range of services tailored to the specific needs of SMEs. Similarly, technical assistance may be proposed to MSMEs to help them with the financial structuring of their projects. A total of EUR 4.5m will be earmarked for technical assistance to banks and MSMEs.
Through EURIZ, in the coming years, over 6,200 SMEs should benefit from loans to create their project or develop their activity, including 1,200 in fragile countries and 5,000 companies with a high development impact.
The EURIZ scheme was set up in 2019 with support from the European Union, under the EU’s Thematic Blending Framework of the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) and European Development Fund, and the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS). EURIZ benefits from EUR 25.8m of financial support from the European Union.
This guarantee is also part of the Choose Africa initiative.
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