Investing in Employment in the Middle East and North Africa Region

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Press Releases

Luxembourg and Cairo, 2019-03-08

SANAD to support United Bank of Egypt in developing its MSME funding strategy

Bank’s new focus to expand financial services to Egypt’s local microentrepreneurs, SMEs, and NGOs

Luxembourg and Cairo, March 8, 2019 – The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD), an impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, and the United Bank of Egypt (UBEG), a fully owned subsidiary of the Central Bank of Egypt, have announced their cooperation to support micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) funding in Egypt. Through SANAD’s international expertise in MSME financing and UBEG’s nationwide branch network, the partners aim to improve access to financial services for this important yet underserved sector of the Egyptian economy.

To address the challenges of this fundamental transformation, the SANAD Technical Assistance Facility (TAF) is providing UBEG with technical support in the form of specialist consulting, strategy workshops, and business planning. The approach includes a comprehensive review of the bank’s operating environment and its existing microfunding activities, while leveraging UBEG’s in-house expertise and local knowledge. By April 2019, the project team aims to deliver a refined five-year business plan covering strategic goals; key customer segments and geographic areas; a strategy for sustained outreach and profitability; an operational road map; and immediate next steps.

SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann said, “We are very pleased at this opportunity to join the United Bank of Egypt in bolstering microfinance in the country. SANAD’s mission is to promote prosperity and employment in the region through targeted support to MSMEs – who are a key economic pillar in Egypt. Yet recent figures indicate that only 25% of the Egyptian microfinance market is currently being served. This transformation represents an important step forward in addressing that gap.”

Ashraf El Kady, Chairman of UBEG, stated: “The United Bank of Egypt has a keen interest in deepening its focus toward this underpenetrated market segment not only as a sound business decision, but also as an effective means of supporting economic and social development. UBEG’s innovative digital financial solutions can play a critical role in reaching out to this important sector, particularly to women and youth. By obtaining the support of the SANAD TAF, we can create a solid plan for sustainable growth.”

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The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D.

An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund; the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); the European Union; Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital.

For more information on the SANAD Fund for MSME, please visit: For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit:

About the United Bank of Egypt
The United Bank of Egypt is one of the fastest-growing banks in the Egyptian market through our diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to our clients through 59 branches and more than 200 ATMs throughout the country.

UBEG delivers responsible and sustainable growth through our key lines of business:
Corporate banking offers integrated financial guidance and solutions — including credit, treasury, trade, foreign exchange, cash management — to small and mid-sized as well as larger corporate clients.

Retail banking serves consumers with a full range of financial products and services through innovative digital banking capabilities and a retail banking network.

The United Bank is one of 12 banks (among 38 banks) operating in the Egyptian market licensed to provide products complied with Shariaa Provisions (Islamic Finance).
Learn more at:

Media contact – SANAD
Nikki Eggers
Senior Officer, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-470

Media contact – UBEG
Germien Amer
Head of corporate communications
Phone: 202 33326480

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