Mediterranean: access to financing an obstacle to SME activity

April 4, 2016
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The EU-funded SwitchMed Programme has announced the start of talks with European financing institutions aimed at assessing their interest in alternative financing in North Africa. Missions have been conducted to evaluate the interest of financing institutions located in Europe regarding investments in eco-innovative businesses or initiatives by green entrepreneurs in the SwitchMed target countries.
According to SwitchMed, “the main barriers that European financing actors often mention are the difficulty of getting more directly involved in the North African countries and the costs related to analysing the local context from all the necessary points of view. That is why the typical pattern observed is the provision of resources to projects that are already in place and in investment funds that operate in the region”. It noted in particular that “finance is not reaching small and medium sized enterprises in an effective way”.
SwitchMed also notes that “access to finance is overall a significant barrier, and that there is a massive profit opportunity for those who are able to successfully finance small and medium-sized socially and environmentally conscious enterprises”.

Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia