Reinforcing Med Microfinance Network System for Start-ups

ReSt@rts Partners Meet to Kick off Mediterranean Microfinance Industry Study

ReSt@rts project partners have recently met to start developing and updating a microfinance study that maps and analyses the microfinance industry in the Mediterranean.

The study is part of the ReSt@rts project, which is an ENI CBC Med-funded capitalisation intervention that builds on an earlier MEDSt@rts project and is aimed to facilitate access to finance for young, non-bankable entrepreneurs with promising innovative business ideas in the Mediterranean.

To do this, ReSt@rts capitalises on the findings and outputs of MEDSt@rts by providing technical guidelines and tools as well as updating the Microfinance study that was initially developed in MEDSt@rts, which now will include new target areas and an updated database of all working microfinance institutions.

The meeting was led by the Achaian Development Entity of the Chamber of Achaia in Greece: the lead partner in this activity, where the team explained more about the study and how to collect and report the needed data. Other participating partners include 
Leaders International in Palestine, Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture in Sidon and South Lebanon, Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Ager Sarl in Tunisia.

Project partners from different countries in the Med region have each commenced to map out institutions, instruments, programmes, and other relevant data on their specific countries’ microfinance industries. Ultimately, the Mediterranean Microfinance Industry Study will feed into more structured, efficient databases and data-informed support programmes for innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Specifically, the study will support the development of a microfinance providers’ association: a long-term institutional tool that aims to strengthen and extend the microfinance network that was built in MEDSt@rts. This action envisages the foundation of the association among MEDSt@rts microfinance providers as well as new organisations from new target areas. 

Moreover, the study will additionally support the development of a policy knowledge package composed of a manifesto with technical and policy guidelines for public authorities, and a specific lobbying activity for advocacy and policy reform.

All in all, the project comes as part of ENI CBC Med and partners’ ongoing efforts to facilitate inclusive and sustainable opportunities for budding entrepreneurs who are otherwise restricted by barriers to entry. In doing so, ReSt@rts helps them realise their potential and achieve their dreams while fostering region-wide development and cooperation throughout.

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