Egyptian SMEs are largely excluded from the banking system. About 86% of SMEs that seek a bank loan are credit constrained. 42% of SMEs in the formal private sector do not even have a checking or savings account, rendering risk-assessment by banks next to impossible. Considering this situation, the EIB aims at providing a Technical Assistance (TA) operation to support the expansion of sustainable lending to SMEs and MidCaps in Egypt, thus contributing to the broadening and deepening of the financial sector, supporting SMEs and promoting the development of the private sector as well as creating and securing employment and income in strategic sectors of Egypt. By increasing understanding of the issues specific to very small and SMEs related lending, as well as introducing the best lending practices available for this segment of the market, the TA will also increase the access to finance for previously underserved groups, including women, young people and very small businesses. The purposes of this TA operation are as follows: - Purpose 1: in the context of on-going and planned EBEs lending activities in SMEs sector and to ensure successful implementation of EIB loan for SMEs and MidCaps, support the bank to develop, monitor and increase a sustainable credit portfolio to SMEs and MidCaps; - Purpose 2: strengthening the institutional capacity of the Export Development Bank in order to enable further development of its activities in very small enterprises (VSE), SMEs and MidCaps lending, with particular focus on creation of the dedicated SME lending department within the bank; - Purpose 3: assisting the EBE in enhancing monitoring and reporting activities in line with regulatory requirements and to ensure that funded projects are implemented according to the relevant standards, including national and those of EIB/IFIs;

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