Women accounted for 51% of the total loans offered by the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (SMEDA) in 2017.
In a statement to Daily News Egypt, Nevine Gamea said that the agency offered about EGP 5.3bn worth of loans for small and micro projects in 2017, of which more than half were women.
On Monday, the Agricultural Bank of Egypt (ABE) granted EGP 40m to pump into microenterprises exclusively for women.
According to Gamea, cooperation with the ABE regarding granting loans for women is the first agreement to be signed with other banks for the same purpose during the coming period.
It deals with 16 banks operating in the local market.
According to Gamea, SMEDA requires any bank that receives loans from SMEDA to direct 35% of the value of those loans to projects for women.
She pointed out that women are more careful than men to pay the loans obtained, stressing that the rate of defaults on repayment of loans among women is almost nonexistent.
“The proportion of loans obtained by women in some governorates exceeded the proportions that were expected, especially with regard to loans for livestock,” according to Gamea.
She stressed that SMEDA cares about the existence of an existing project or a serious project idea for women, rather than its concern about the existence of collateral for the loans it receives.