CBE to ap­ply new oblig­a­tory en­trepreneur­ship cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for bankers

Bank cur­rently pre­par­ing an­other cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ser­vices

The Daily News Egypt - - Front Page - By Ha­gar Om­ran

The Cen­tral Bank of Egypt (CBE) plans to ap­ply an oblig­a­tory en­trepreneur­ship cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for bankers, Ner­mine El-Tahri, as­sis­tant sub-gover­nor of the CBE, said on Wed­nes­day.

“We are dis­cussing the ap­pli­ca­tion of en­trepreneur­ship cer­ti­fi­ca­tion with the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ILO), Frank­furt School of Fi­nance and Man­age­ment, and the Egyp­tian Bank­ing In­sti­tute (EBI),” she added.

It comes dur­ing El-Tahri’s par­tic­i­pa­tion at a con­fer­ence held by the Egyp­tian Cen­tre for Eco­nomic Stud­ies’ (ECES), ti­tled “En­trepreneur­ship in Egypt: From Lo­cal In­di­vid­ual Suc­cess to Be­com­ing an African Hub”.

“The en­tre­pre­neur­ial ecosys­tem is not just about fi­nance, as bankers should also be aware of tech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion and have an en­trepreneur­ship cul­ture,” she added.

El-Tahri in­di­cated that the CBE is cur­rently pre­par­ing an­other cer­ti­fi­ca­tion for busi­ness de­vel­op­ment ser­vices (BDS). She added,“13 banks have al­ready par­tic­i­pated in the ini­tia­tive. Start­ing from 2019, there will be points awarded for BDS hubs, which will pro­vide non-fi­nan­cial ad­vice and help in de­vel­op­ing busi­ness plans.”

“Egypt is do­ing well in de­vel­op­ing the en­trepreneur­ship sec­tor, not­ing that there are many par­al­lel ef­forts ex­erted by sev­eral en­ti­ties, but they lack proper co­or­di­na­tion,” re­marked El-Tahri.

“We are not start­ing from scratch, we al­ready have a good base,” El-Tahri noted. She added that Egyp­tian banks have in­jected more than EGP 110bn in in­vest­ments to sup­port small and medium-sized en­ter­prises (SMEs) out of to­tal EGP 200bn al­lo­cated for fi­nanc­ing SMEs, over a four-year pe­riod end­ing in Jan­uary 2020.

It is oblig­a­tory for banks to al­lo­cate 20% of their loan port­fo­lios to SMEs, in ac­cor­dance with the CBE’s ini­tia­tive launched in 2016.

Many banks are will­ing to in­crease their SMEs’ funds, El-Tahri as­serted. How­ever, other banks need more in­cen­tives to take part in the ini­tia­tive, so the CBE launched the Credit Guar­an­tee Cor­po­ra­tion (CGC) to sup­port SMEs, par­tic­u­larly those with in­ad­e­quate or no col­lat­eral to ob­tain fi­nanc­ing from fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.

The CBE’s role is to en­cour­age banks to in­crease their fi­nanc­ing for SMEs, and the CBE has col­lab­o­rated with the Nile Univer­sity to launch the Nile Pioneers ini­tia­tive to sup­port en­trepreneur­ship, El-Tahri af­firmed.

This ini­tia­tive cre­ated aware­ness cam­paigns for youth to en­cour­age start-ups in seven gov­er­norates, and the bank will sup­port 11 projects in in­dus­try, agri­cul­ture, and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion after the ini­tia­tive, El-Tahri said.

The co-founder and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Qalaa Hold­ings, Hisham El-Khazin­dar, said that the Egyp­tian mar­ket is very large, as­sert­ing the im­por­tance of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with African coun­tries in the field of en­trepreneur­ship. Egypt’s sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth is very con­nected to boost­ing eco­nomic re­la­tions with Africa, noted El-Khazin­dar, adding that the past two years wit­nessed sev­eral im­prove­ments in the Egyp­tian busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment.

Dean of Busi­ness School at the Amer­i­can Univer­sity in Cairo, Sherif Kamel, agreed with El-Khazin­dar that the Egyp­tian mar­ket en­joys many suc­cess el­e­ments that can help boost the en­trepreneur­ship sec­tor.

The pro­por­tion of young peo­ple in the Egyp­tian pop­u­la­tion is sig­nif­i­cantly larger com­pared to other age brack­ets, and they can use tech­nol­ogy and present good ideas which make a dif­fer­ence in the so­ci­ety, Kamel said.

“Hu­man cap­i­tal is the petroleum of the 21st cen­tury, and Africa is the con­tent of this age, hav­ing plenty of op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as chal­lenges, but I be­lieve that more chal­lenges mean more op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Kamel added.

“I was hon­oured to be part of the African Women En­trepreneur­ship Co­op­er­a­tive pro­gramme that aims to train 200 African women in the en­trepreneur­ship field,” Kamel said.

Ner­mine El-Tahri

The bank will sup­port 11 projects in in­dus­try, agri­cul­ture, and dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion after the ini­tia­tive

Hisham El-Khazin­dar

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