Investing in Employment in the Middle East and North Africa Region

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Press Releases

Tunis, 2019-04-09

SANAD partners welcome European Commission delegates to Tunisia

EC representatives visit Enda Tamweel and Advans Tunisie to discuss development impact in the region

Tunis, April 9, 2019 – On March 14, two investees of the SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD), an impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, welcomed a delegation of representatives from the European Commission’s DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations Programme to Tunisia. Led by program manager Malin Elander, the delegates were keen to learn about how the SANAD-supported microfinance institutions Enda Tamweel and Advans Tunisie are contributing to the EC’s latest initiative to strengthen an enabling business environment for small business development and financial inclusion in North Africa and the Middle East.

Enda Tamweel and Advans Tunisie are two flagship microfinance institutions providing targeted financing to entrepreneurs in Tunisia, where micro and very small enterprises account for half of the country’s employment. SANAD has played a key role in the success of both: In April 2018, a SANAD investment supported an increase in Enda Tamweel’s capital base, building the institution’s ability to serve microentrepreneurs and contribute to financial inclusion. In 2013, a SANAD equity investment helped establish Advans Tunisie, and further technical assistance has supported the institution in expanding its outreach to microentrepreneurs in rural regions and other underserved groups.

In addition to discussing the SANAD partners’ growth strategies, key strengths, and current needs, the delegation also met some of the institutions’ microentrepreneur clients. These included soap producer Hallouma Abid, an Enda Tamweel client of 13 years who employs two staff, and Advans Tunisie client Sana Ibrahim, a garment producer leading a workforce of 22 women.

SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann said: “Since SANAD was established in 2011, the European Union has been a valuable contributor to the fund’s capital structure through its Initiative for Financial Inclusion. We were therefore very pleased at the opportunity to present to them first-hand some of the impact that our fund is having in promoting economic development and entrepreneurship in Tunisia.”

Malin Elander commented: “Thanks to the longstanding and excellent cooperation between the European Commission and KfW, together with Finance in Motion as the advisor to the SANAD Fund, we jointly succeed in supporting economic activities through SANAD which are fundamental for people, both in terms of job creation and inclusive growth.”

Brieuc Cardon, General Director of Advans Tunisie, remarked: “Thanks to SANAD’s support, we have been able to expand into rural areas of the country where financial inclusion is even more important, and launch key new products adapted to our clients’ needs. We were very proud to show the EU delegates the work we have been doing to accelerate financial inclusion in Tunisia, and sincerely hope that international organizations will continue supporting Tunisian public and private institutions in these efforts.”

Anis Allouche, CEO of Enda Tamweel, said: “SANAD has supported Enda over several phases of its development, helping us reach some very important milestones. Thanks to the fund’s technical support and investment, Enda and SANAD are having a considerable social impact in Tunisia by contributing to the financial inclusion of vulnerable people through microfinance. We look forward to keeping up the good work with SANAD as a partner.”

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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 EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion
MSMEs significantly contribute to GDP and job creation across the southern Mediterranean region of the Middle East and North Africa. Thus, they have the potential to make even greater contributions to their respective economies when given the right funding. However, most MSMEs do not have access to funding in the Neighborhood South, a factor that significantly limits their growth.

This is why the EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion (EUIFI) was created. The EUIFI facilitates and expands access to finance for MSMEs and innovative start-ups in the southern Mediterranean region of the Middle East and North Africa, namely: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia. The EUIFI comprises five individual but complementary programs operated in partnership with four key European financial institutions: KfW; the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD); the European Investment Bank (EIB); and Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

By addressing the gap in the lending and financing system, the EUIFI can help MSMEs grow their revenue, leading to the creation of more employment opportunities for others. This in turn has even wider benefits for society, contributing to greater social stability, more equal income distribution, and economic diversification for the region.

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

Media contact – EU Initiative for Financial Inclusion
Samia Boulares

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