SANAD and Arab Tunisian Lease expand financing opportunities for SMEs in Tunisia


EUR 10 million investment to combat economic headwinds of COVID-19 crisis

Luxembourg and Tunis, February 22, 2021 – The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) has provided a senior loan of EUR 10 million to Arab Tunisian Lease (ATL) to expand access to long-term financing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Tunisia. Through the facility, the partners aim to support local businesses in continuing their operations despite the economic difficulties caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Leasing is an important source of investment financing for SMEs, a segment of the Tunisian economy that is key to employment and income generation but which often faces difficulties accessing suitable finance. As the third largest leasing institution in the country, ATL is well positioned to support SANAD in the fund’s endeavor to expand financial inclusion to underserved groups. This includes rural entrepreneurs: More than one-third of SANAD’s previous loan to ATL was used to facilitate leases to small businesses in remote areas. The new investment especially takes aim at alleviating the financing bottlenecks faced by many smaller businesses as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann said, “Lockdowns and travel restrictions have taken a particular toll on entrepreneurs since the pandemic began. Specialized providers of small and medium enterprise finance like ATL provide critical resources for this important economic segment to maintain their operations in spite of the ongoing crisis. SANAD and its partners are here for local businesses in the long term; and our continued collaboration with ATL is part of fulfilling this promise.”

Zouhaier Tamboura, Managing Director of ATL, said, “I am delighted with the signing of this loan agreement, which will help to remedy the lack of refinancing resources that affects the Tunisian leasing sector, and will allow ATL Leasing to achieve growth in our funding efforts for small enterprises in Tunisia.”

About SANAD 

The SANAD Fund for MSME finances micro, small, and medium enterprises and low-income households in the Middle East and North Africa and selected countries in sub-Saharan Africa via qualified local lenders. SANAD thereby fosters economic development and job creation – including youth employment – agriculture, affordable housing, and innovations in finance and financial technologies. SANAD strives to meet these goals by providing debt and equity financing to its local partners. The SANAD Technical Assistance Facility multiplies the fund’s development impact and outreach through capacity-building with partner institutions, developing financial infrastructures according to the principles of responsible finance and conducting much required R&D. 

An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, 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); OeEB, the Development Bank of Austria; Germany’s GLS Bank and GLS Treuhand; the Dutch development bank FMO; and Calvert Impact Capital. 

For more information on the SANAD Fund for MSME, please visit:  
For more information on Finance in Motion, please visit:  

About Arab Tunisian Lease

ATL is a financial institution created in 1993 by two main shareholders, the ATB (Arab Tunisian Bank) and the BNA (National Agricultural Bank). Since its creation and throughout its career, ATL has accumulated know-how and expertise in the leasing business which has enabled it to be among the most important operators on the Tunisian market. Its activity involves all economic sectors (industry, services, agriculture, new technologies).

ATL offers its clients a full range of financing tailored to their investment needs in furniture and/or real estate. It operates throughout the country with a network of 11 branches located in major cities across the country and holds a 15% market share.

For more information, please visit:

Media contact – SANAD

Nikki Eggers
Senior Officer, Marketing & Communications
Phone: +49 (0)69 271 035-470 

Media contact – Arab Tunisian Lease 

Kais Ben Fradj
Head of Division, Marketing & Communications
Phone: + 216 93 609 040