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Silatech ties up with PlaNet Finance for YEP

February 2, 2014

DOHA : Silatech has joined forces with international NGO PlaNet Finance to support the Youth Entrepreneurship Project (YEP), a three-year initiative to improve access to financial services for young entrepreneurs in Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon . The project is expected to benefit over 3,000 economically and socially disadvantaged youth and their families. Launched by PlaNet Finance in February 2013 , the Youth Entrepreneurship Project is a regional programme designed to empower youth economically in Palestine, Egypt and Lebanon by boosting the capacity of selected micro-finance institutions from each country. The project is financed by the European Union , and partner micro-finance organisations include the Arab Centre for Agricultural Development (ACAD) (Palestine), the Alexandria Businessmen's Association ( Egypt ), and the Lebanese Association for Development (Al Majmoua) ( Lebanon ). PlaNet Finance will provide training to the staff of the three partner micro-finance institutions (MFIs), while Silatech will provide business support services such as mentoring to young micro-entrepreneurs to improve their chances of business success, as well as usage of its trademark Tamheed psychometric assessment tool to MFIs to screen the entrepreneurial capabilities of potential youth beneficiaries. Both Silatech and PlaNet Finance will provide technical assistance to the participating micro-finance institutions to help design and develop dedicated youth loan products. Silatech is also in discussion with the partner MFIs with regard to the provision of loan capital for on lending by the MFIs to young entrepreneurs. Silatech CEO Dr Tarik M Yousef commented: "Young entrepreneurs face a difficult set of challenges starting and expanding businesses in our region. Access to finance through formal channels such as banks and financial institutions remains an obstacle, and entrepreneurship support programs are rare. We are proud to join with PlaNet Finance for the Youth Entrepreneurship Project , which will help extend access to finance and business support for microentrepreneurs." Amr Hegazi , Regional Director for the Mena region at PlaNet Finance said: "We at the PlaNet Finance Mena are very pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with Silatech for ongoing and future projects in the Middle East and North Africa region. Silatech's experience and knowledge in the fields of market research, business development and youth entrepreneurship will be a great added value for PlaNet Finance's current projects in Egypt , Lebanon and Palestine focusing on the economic empowerment of marginalised youth. Our regional team looks forward to this special cooperation that will inevitably lead to enhancing the economic and social livelihoods of marginalised Arab youth segments in desperate need for technical capacity building and financial support." The Peninsula

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Source: Peninsula, The (Qatar)

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