Egyptian SMEs Face $46B Annual Financing Shortfall Amid Economic Challenges

July 9, 2024


Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt are grappling with a financing shortfall of $46 billion per annum, exacerbated by the persistent economic challenges stemming from regional and global tensions, a new report released by Visa showed.

Around 33% of SMEs in Egypt face financial constraints, with only 15% of these businesses having access to the necessary financing, Visa’s SME Megatrends Report stated. Additionally, the outstanding loan portfolio for Egyptian SMEs amounts to $11 billion.

The Visa SME Megatrends report analyzes Egypt’s SME financial landscape, highlighting growth opportunities in digital and financial sectors. It identifies key trends: increased demand for formal financial services, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) and Points Of Service (POS)  financing adoption, social media commerce rise, e-wallet evolution, online presence support, digital B2B marketplace growth, and SMEs’ digital tool use.

12 million SMEs

The report highlighted that the Egyptian market hosts over 12 million SMEs, employing more than 47 million people and constituting 98% of the country’s private sector.

The report emphasized the rapid digital transformation underway in Egypt’s SME sector, marked by increased usage of social media and e-commerce, alongside growing adoption of Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) solutions, Point-of-Sale (POS) financing, and e-wallets.

These trends offer numerous new revenue opportunities for issuing banks by facilitating access to essential financial products and services tailored to the unique needs of SMEs.

“At Visa, we are committed to empowering issuing banks to capitalize on the abundant revenue opportunities within SME financial services. We focus on bridging critical gaps that hinder SME growth,” said Malak El Baba, Visa’s Vice President and Egypt Country Manager.

She emphasized, “Through strategic partnerships, we aim to provide the necessary resources to develop customized financial solutions that address SMEs’ specific needs and actively foster inclusive economic growth.”

By using these insights, banks in Egypt can customize their offerings to meet SMEs’ evolving needs, boosting their digital transformation and financial inclusion, El Baba concluded.












Image by Visa