The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently awarded $270,000 (JD 191,160) to the National Microfinance Bank (NMB) to establish a Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Department. This grant will allow one of Jordan’s leading microfinance institutions to reach an under-served market of Jordanian micro and small enterprises that are too large for group lending, but too small to obtain bank loans. More than 700 MSMEs across the kingdom will be able to access more than $1.5 million in credit facilities as a direct result of this grant.
The world-renowned Frankfurt School of Finance and Management will assist the NMB in establishing the MSME department and developing new products or improving existing ones to better meet the needs of businesses, often called the “missing middle.” The missing middle comprises over 90 percent of all businesses in Jordan and is the driver of economic growth and employment. The grant is part of a larger package of support provided to the NMB through the USAID Local Enterprise Support Project (LENS), totaling around $500,000.
Khaled Muhiesen, General Manager of the National Microfinance Bank, highlighted the key advantages of this initiative: “USAID support will allow us to expand our services to deserving micro, small, and medium enterprises that are currently not served by most financial institutions. In addition, more women and youth will be able to benefit from our services and contribute to Jordan’s overall economic growth.”
USAID Jordan Mission Director Jim Barnhart said, “We are committed to supporting Jordan’s microfinance institutions to expand the reach of their loans and provide more services to micro and small businesses, which are the main drivers of economic growth and employment. This will help thousands of businesses gain more access to finance to further develop and grow.”
USAID is also supporting the NMB to implement two additional initiatives: the integration of youth-focused programs into the bank’s activities and the development of a mobile platform that will enable clients to make payments using their phones. The United States government, through USAID, has provided foreign assistance from the American people to Jordan for more than 60 years.