Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 05 April 2021 – The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group and its private sector development arm, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), have joined hands with the government of Burkina Faso through “Maison de l’Entreprise du Burkina Faso (MEBF)”, to implement the “Business Resilience Assistance for Value-adding Enterprises” (BRAVE Women) Project in the country.
Implemented by the IsDB/ICD, the “ BRAVE Programme was initially launched in Yemen in 2016 with the aim of combining capacity building and a grant-matching scheme concept for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in addition to Value Chain support, all within an integrated framework that responds to the in-conflict challenges of the private sector. The MENA Transition Fund (Deauville Partnership) provided the sponsorship of this project which was successfully completed in 2020.
The IsDB’s President, Dr. Bandar Hajjar, has expressed his commitment to supporting strategies that promote women’s economic empowerment which is considered critical to building a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable world.
This BRAVE Women Burkina Faso project falls under the sponsorship of the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a collaborative partnership among fourteen donor governments (including Saudi Arabia), eight multilateral development banks (including the IsDB), and other public and private stakeholders, which seeks to address the financial and non-financial barriers faced by women entrepreneurs while attempting to create a better ecosystem for them. This new project is expected to not only enhance the resilience of SMEs owned/managed by women but to also support the National Economic and Social Development Plan (PNDES) of Burkina Faso.
According to ICD CEO, Mr. Ayman Amin Sejiny, the roll out of BRAVE Programme in Burkina Faso follows successful implementations of the similar ongoing projects in Yemen and Nigeria where it has managed to support 916 Women owned/led SMEs to date with business resilience trainings and disbursed $6.4 million of financial support out of which $3.2 million of funds were provided in the form of matching grants.
“ICD is pleased to play a significant role in the collective efforts aimed at overcoming the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in fragile environments. We aim to enhance the private sector, as the engine of sustainable growth in fragile settings. This cooperation seeks to enhance the resilience of Women owned SMEs that have struggled during the current crisis. And we pray to Almighty Allah for the success of the Burkina Faso project, as well,” he has stated.