IFC sanctioned a loan of USD 2 million to a Lebanese MFI, Al Majmoua to encourage entrepreneurship and drive economic development in Lebanon. The loan will help the institution to grow its loan portfolio and expand outreach to small business owners, including female entrepreneurs, and the poor. Lebanon currently has a microfinance penetration rate of about 48%, leaving a significant gap to be bridged. The investment is part of IFC’s strategy in Lebanon, and the wider Middle East and North Africa, to expand financial services to underserved regions and people, including female entrepreneurs.
“This agreement with IFC highlights the importance of the microfinance sector in general, and Al Majmoua’s work in particular in improving financial inclusion for the unbanked. This partnership allows Al Majmoua to continue expanding its outreach in Lebanon, helping improve the economic and social conditions of low-income individuals.” said Youssef Fawaz, Executive Director of Al Majmoua. “Providing better access to finance those at the bottom of the pyramid will help stimulate growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty. In addition, we believe our investment will help encourage other investors, especially local banks, to fund Lebanon’s microfinance sector and help bridge the financing gap,” said James Gohary, IFC Manager for the Financial Institutions Group in the Middle East and North Africa.