Visa Foundation announced $250,000 in funding to support small and micro businesses (SMBs) in Egypt. This funding includes grants to programs that provide SMBs with training, support services and access to capital, with a gender inclusive and diverse lens. The local recipient of the grant is Education For Employment, founded in 2007 to give youth a brighter future and help businesses find the skilled entry-level employees their industries demand. The organization received the funding to create inclusive economic growth by providing Egyptian women employment through job placement and entrepreneurship training.
The funding is part of Visa Foundation’s Equitable Access Initiative, a $200 million strategic commitment announced in April 2020 to address longer-term needs of SMBs, with an emphasis on fostering women’s economic advancement, which will be critical to long-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“SMBs are the backbone of the economy. It is crucial to empower SMB-owners and entrepreneurs with resources, knowledge and skills that can support them in rebuilding -or starting- stronger businesses in the current context,” said Malak El Baba, Visa’s Country Manager for Egypt. “At Visa we are proud that Visa Foundation is funding organizations such as Education For Employment that are addressing the needs and helping to unlock barriers for funding that gender diverse and inclusive SMBs face in Egypt, and in doing so, helping build stronger communities where everyone can thrive.”
SMBs account for more than 90 percent of global businesses and nearly 60 percent of global employment. There is a $300 billion annual credit deficit in funding for women-owned small and micro businesses globally, which is expected to grow given the current economic crisis’s impact.
“Now more than ever, equitable and efficient access to resources and capital is crucial for SMBs’ sustainability and growth,” said Graham Macmillan, President of the Visa Foundation. “Visa Foundation is committed to funding organizations that help enable SMBs seeking to advance a more inclusive economy.”