Silatech CEO Dr Tarik M Yousef and Grameen-Jameel Chairman Zaher Al Munajjed exchanging documents.
DOHA: Silatech has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Grameen-Jameel Microfinance for cooperation on poverty alleviation and job creation targeting women and youth in the Arab world.
They will work on introducing microfinance to Arab countries where it has not yet taken root.
This will start with a full supply and demand study of the microfinance market in Libya to introduce innovative solutions to help fight poverty and increase the access of low-income people to finance.
Special focus will be given to youth.
The agreement was signed by Silatech Chief Executive Officer Dr Tarik M Yousef and Zaher Al Munajjed, Chairman of Grameen-Jameel.
“While they are no panacea, smartly deployed microenterprise programmes have proven to be one of the most effective and adaptable strategies in the fight against poverty and youth unemployment in the Arab world,” said Dr Yousef.
“We are hoping to see Grameen-Jameel join Silatech in launching Narwi, our web-based crowdfunding platform for young microentrepreneurs,” he added
“With Silatech’s experience in youth development and our long experience in supporting the growth of microfinance institutions around the region, we will work together to provide financial and technical support to entrepreneurs — with a focus on youth and women — to further combat poverty and unemployment in the Arab world,” said Al Munajjed.
In addition to microfinance landscape mapping in the Arab world and a potential partnership on crowdfunding, Silatech and Grameen-Jameel will work towards creating a certified training programme to build the capacity of loan officers to support poor entrepreneurs with credit. This training will focus on youth financing as an integral part.
With projects in 11 Arab countries, since 2009 Silatech microenterprise partnerships have fully financed over 35,000 businesses and provided assistance to over 200,000 young people.
Grameen-Jameel Microfinance is the first social business in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region.
A venture between Grameen Foundation and Abdul Latif Community Initiatives, a subsidiary of Abdul Latif Jameel Group, its mission is to help alleviate poverty by providing financial and technical assistance to microfinance institutions throughout the region to help better serve the poor.
Grameen-Jameel supports 18 microfinance institutions across 10 countries, and has succeeded in helping partner organisations reach over 2.1 million borrowers.
Grameen-Jameel supports its partners through a suite of customised financial and non-financial products and services.