Commitment to Action

WWB Expansion in the Middle East and North Africa

Commitment by

Women's World Banking

In 2008, Women's World Banking (WWB) committed to expand its microfinance network in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region showing growth in women's entrepreneurial activity but facing numerous challenges, from a lack of regulatory frameworks to insufficient operational and managerial capacities among microfinance institutions (MFIs). By bringing MENA MFIs into the network, WWB will deliver technical assistance, strategic support, and learning opportunities to help deepen their impact, thereby increasing poor women's access to capital and furthering poverty alleviation in the region. After conducting extensive research and analysis beginning in June 2008 at the regional, national, and institutional level, WWB selected the Lead Foundation in Egypt for expansion and is assisting Lead in the areas of product diversification, access to the capital markets, and enhancing women's leadership. Feasibility studies were also conducted for Syria and Turkey; further assessment is needed to determine status of the market and what approach is appropriate.





WWB Expansion in the Middle East and North Africa



Est. Duration

3 Years

Estimated Total Value



Middle East & North Africa



Commitment by

Women's World Banking

Partner(s) of the Commitment Maker(s)

Kingdom of the Netherlands, Lead Foundation, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)