Dutch investment for micro entrepreneurs in MENA


Dutch development bank FMO invests USD 15 million in the SANAD Fund for MSME to support small businesses in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The investment has been made through the MASSIF fund, which is managed by FMO on behalf of the Dutch gover

By targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in a fragile region, SANAD fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – thereby contributing to stability. Since its inception, SANAD financing to local partners has funded more than 83,000 loans, the large majority of which were microloans.

FMO is providing financing to SANAD through an investment of USD 15 million in the senior tranche of the debt sub-fund, money that will be on-lent by local partners to MSMEs. The investment comes from the MASSIF Fund, which FMO manages on behalf of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “MASSIF provides much needed financial and non-financial resources to small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs by supporting local financial intermediaries and institutions that can contribute to their development. MASSIF invests in low income countries and fragile and conflict-affected states with special focus towards rural areas, women, youth and companies that are developing new innovative products and services for the so- called ‘Base of the Pyramid’. Supporting SANAD is an important step for MASSIF to further support entrepreneurs and SMEs in this (conflict) affected part of the world”, explains Jeroen Harteveld, Fund manager of MASSIF.

SANAD Board Chairman Wolfgang Reuss said: “We are delighted that FMO is investing in our ongoing support of small businesses in the Middle East and North Africa. The bank’s commitment should also allow us to attract further financing so we can continue bolstering the development of MSMEs and youth job creation in the low- and middle-income regions the fund serves.”

“SANAD” means “support” in Arabic, and the fund seeks to promote stability in a challenging region by expanding financial inclusion for MSMEs that often have difficulties finding access to capital for starting or growing a business. SANAD loans to local financial institutions are on-lent to support MSMEs in multiple sectors, and the fund is currently examining expansions in areas such as agribusiness, housing, and youth and gender initiatives.

Due to conflict and instability, the MENA region is a challenging region for investors. Financing in MENA is provided mainly to larger companies, while employment is largely driven by MSMEs. Given the developmental challenges resulting from the region’s current situation and the need for MSME financing, FMO has increased its activities in the region’s financial sector, to provide scarce financing for further economic, sustainable, and social development. The investment fits further efforts and activities of the Dutch Government to support economies in the MENA region, specifically in countries which deal with a strong influx of refugees.

General Information

About FMO

FMO is the Dutch development bank. FMO has invested in the private sector in developing countries and emerging markets for more than 46 years. Our mission is to empower entrepreneurs to build a better world. We invest in sectors where we believe our contribution can have the highest long-term impact: financial institutions, energy and agribusiness. Alongside partners, we invest in the infrastructure, manufacturing and services sectors. With an investment portfolio of EUR 9.2 billion spanning over 85 countries, FMO is one of the larger bilateral private sector development banks globally.


The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) was established in 2011 to foster economic development and create jobs, particularly for youth in the Middle East and North Africa. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to local partner institutions, such as commercial banks, microfinancers, and other financial institutions, who on-lend money to support micro, small and medium enterprises and to finance housing. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building at partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D. SANAD’s investors include the KfW Development Bank, which initiated the fund, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the European Union, Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria. A public-private partnership, the fund is advised by Finance in Motion GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, Germany. For more information, please visit:

Media Contacts

Press contact FMO

Paul Hartogsveld
Senior Corporate Communications
T: +31 70 314 9928
M: +31 6 11589127

Press contact SANAD

Eric Culp
Press Officer
T: +49 (0) 69 271 035-307