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The European Commission (EC), has approved up to €75 million in guarantees and up to €8 million in Technical Assistance to FMO’s NASIRA program (NASIRA). The NASIRA risk sharing facility aims to provide access to finance for promising entrepreneurs in Africa and the European neighborhood, with a focus on young, female and migrant entrepreneurs. By increasing financial inclusion for underserved parts of the population, NASIRA aims to combat the root causes and pressures of irregular migration.
Linda Broekhuizen, Chief Investment Officer at FMO, said: “The support of the EU and Dutch government for this new risk-sharing facility NASIRA is a major step forward to ensure that financing reaches the young, migrant and female entrepreneurs that are potentially great job creators in countries where employment is much needed now and in the future.”
The guarantee (up to €75 million) for NASIRA is provided by the European Fund for Sustainable Development. The Dutch government also supports NASIRA with a €7.5 million contribution from the MASSIF fund, which is managed by FMO. NASIRA will lower the real and perceived risks for local financial institutions of lending to the targeted entrepreneurs. This means financial intermediaries are prepared to extend loans to social groups that are often perceived as being too risky due to a lack of credit history, limited education, social discrimination, no residential permits and little financial literacy. In total, NASIRA is expected to mobilize up to €500 million for underserved entrepreneurs.
Next to the guarantee, FMO aims to contribute to a sustainable and long-term solution by providing Technical Assistance to both the financial intermediaries and the end-borrowers to enable them to better understand, manage and mitigate certain risks.
FMO has already received expressions of interest in NASIRA from Jordan (to guarantee Syrian entrepreneurs), Lebanon and Uganda (to guarantee female entrepreneurs) and Egypt (to guarantee young entrepreneurs).