The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a finance contract with Enda Tamweel for a loan equivalent to EUR 8.5 million in Tunisian dinars to support microenterprises and promote financial inclusion, in particular for young people, women and the most vulnerable customers in disadvantaged rural areas.

The new loan was signed under the Economic Resilience Initiative (ERI) set up by the EIB to foster sustainable growth, the creation of vital infrastructure and social cohesion in the countries of the Southern Neighbourhood and the Western Balkans. The ERI is part of the European Union's joint response to the challenges of forced displacement and migration. It is being implemented in close cooperation with the EU Member States, the European Commission, finance providers and other partners. The ERI's microfinance mandate is a mechanism designed to support the financial inclusion of the most vulnerable members of society.

Enda Tamweel is a Tunisian microfinance company whose purpose is to support the economic and social inclusion of vulnerable population groups, particularly in rural areas, so contributing to the country's economic development. The resources made available by the EIB could serve to provide funding for more than 26,000 final beneficiaries.

“With this loan, the European Investment Bank is reaffirming its commitment to fostering financial inclusion and entrepreneurship in Tunisia,” said EIB Vice-President Dario Scannapieco. He went on to say that “improving access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs will help stimulate the growth of microenterprises, sustain jobs and promote private sector development in the poorest and most vulnerable communities, particularly in rural areas.”

“This loan confirms our close partnership with the European Investment Bank. It is an agreement that also reaffirms our deep commitment to ensuring the financial inclusion of vulnerable population groups and promoting self-employment through increased access to micro-credits,” said Slaheddine Ladjimi, Chairman of Enda Tamweel's Board of Directors.