ALEXBANK signed a cooperation agreement with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) worth $100m, which includes a $50m credit line for small and medium enterprises, including a special grant for technical support that ALEXBANK can use to develop skills and the competitiveness of these projects through training courses and workshops.
The agreement also includes $50m in additional funding under the Trade Facilitation Programme.
In line with ALEXBANK’s strategy to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the bank launched the Business Club Academy aiming at providing dedicated training for SME owners and entrepreneurs with elements of financial management, organisational skills, and marketing skills, supporting them in taking better business decisions and enhancing their competitiveness and productivity.
This comes within the framework of the cooperation agreement with EBRD and in collaboration with the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) – the training arm of the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) that will be the implementing partner – which will provide dedicated training to ALEXBANK’s SME customers.
Furthermore, the technical assistance offered by the EBRD will also focus on improving the existing processes, products, customer experience, and technical expertise of ALEXBANK employees, through a collaboration established with the Frankfurt School of Finance and Business.
The Business Club Academy aims to organise more than 50 dedicated workshops and training sessions, extending over 18 months for more than 1,700 participants, to be executed in Cairo, Alexandria, the Delta, and Upper Egypt Governorates. The topics of the workshops will include corporate governance, payment technology and solutions, quality management, environment, digital economy, alternative distribution channels, and financial inclusion.
Dante Campioni, Managing Director and CEO of ALEXBANK said, “Our cooperation with EBRD and EBI comes in line with ALEXBANK’s strategy to support the development of SMEs. By launching the Business Club Academy; the bank affirms its aim to boost the growth of small enterprises and support entrepreneurship in all sectors, whether industrial, agricultural, or other.”
“This comes by providing essential tools, either financial or non-financial, to value-added services, as we strongly believe that beyond offering easy access to financing, we have to support SMEs to better face further challenges, such as proper business and financial planning, corporate governance, products marketing, and markets access, and the adoption of proper payment methods that are more and more depending on digital solutions,” he added.
Valdas Vitkauskas, senior banker, FI Business Leader for Egypt, EBRD commented, “We are proud to launch together with ALEXBANK and the Egyptian Banking Institute the EBRD’s “SME Workshops and Training” programme. Access to finance for SMEs is crucial to the growth of the economy, and has been identified as a top priority for the Government of Egypt. EBRD has a strong commitment to support Egypt’s effort to accompany national banks in their learning experience as well as to invest in the future of SMEs.”
Abdel Aziz Nossier, EBI executive director mentioned that EBI, in accordance with CBE directions, has been deeply engaged in numerous SME capacity building activities to bridge the gap between bankers and SMEs.
Nossier said that the cooperation with ALEXBANK and EBRD to launch the Business Club Academy fosters EBI’s strategy to further support the development of SME activities and effectuates EBI’s role as a knowledge hub.
As part of ALEXBANK’s dedication to offering an integrated set of innovative solutions and value-added services (VAS) for SMEs, the bank launched Business Club, a fully-fledged financial and non-financial proposition that provides a unique banking experience.
The ALEXBANK Business Club offers Business Plus, a current account with daily interest rate paid monthly, a corporate debit card to easily manage expenses, Time Deposit Plus which provides distinctive rates, as well as free cheque books. This is besides offering credit facilities and free subscriptions to internet banking services allowing customers to transfer funds and immediately review all their banking transactions.
Through Business Club, ALEXBANK also provides customers with a wide array of innovative solutions that are tailored for SMEs, which include offers and discounts up to 50% from large corporates that offer services and solutions in the Egyptian market, such as Vodafone, Aramex, zVendo, FilKhedma, Cairo Airport Travel, Les concierges, and Quest.