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France supports liwwa fintech firm with 1m euro loan for MSMEs

By JT - Nov 28,2022 - Last updated at Nov 28,2022

French Ambassador to Jordan Alexis Le Cour Grandmaison during the signing of a loan agreement between the fintech financing firm ‘liwwa’ and Proparco, the French development finance institution (Photo courtesy of French embassy)

AMMAN — The fintech financing firm “liwwa” has received a one-million euro loan from Proparco, the French development finance institution in order to help liwwa’s growth and promote job creation as well as social cohesion, according to a statement from the French embassy. 

According to the statement, MSMEs (micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises) represent 80 per cent of Jordanian businesses, but are still struggling with access to credit. To combat this issue, liwwa offers solutions to unbanked SMEs using digitalisation and artificial intelligence. This funding from Propaco demonstrates France's commitment to financial inclusion in the Middle East, the statement said.

Nearly 75 per cent of the financing needs of Jordanian SMEs are not met by the commercial banking system, and traditional banks are reluctant to grant credit to these businesses and often impose conditions that are beyond their reach, the statement added.

Operational since 2015, liwwa has been offering SMEs an alternative to bank financing based on a cutting-edge technological solution, while placing human contact and customer service at the centre. With a $20 million portfolio, liwwa supports Jordanian companies working in craft and retailing.

The one million euro loan granted to liwwa by Proparco, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), was signed in the presence of French Ambassador to Jordan Alexis Le Cour Grandmaison. It will contribute to the growth of liwwa’s activity, supporting 175 jobs, the statement said.

It also contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (poverty eradication, economic growth, innovation, reduction of inequalities). This project is part of Proparco's broader commitment to the Jordanian financial sector, as demonstrated by its partnership with Capital Bank of Jordan, the statement said.

“France is a committed contributor to the economic development of Jordan through job creation and investment. Small and medium-size businesses are the backbone of Jordan’s economy and I’m proud that Proparco is now supporting a trustworthy partner like liwwa,” the French Ambassador said.

"This credit line will allow us to continue serving small businesses, which are those with the greatest need for financing in Jordan. The trust that Proparco has placed in us is a testimony to the relevance of our innovative approach," liwwa CEO Dennis Ardis said.

"We are very honoured to work with liwwa, a major player in the Jordanian fintech ecosystem. This new project proves once again Proparco's commitment to the private sector and innovation, as well as to strengthening financial inclusion in the MENA region," Jeremy Brault, Head of Innovation and Financial Inclusion at Proparco, added.



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