The Islamic Corporation for the Development (ICD) of the Private Sector and the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) announced an agreement Monday that will support financing for small and medium businesses in the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
ICD will help create a Sharia-compliant investment fund capitalized at up to $30 million, with the goal of attracting additional investment and growing the fund as large as $100 million.
BCEAO will contribute to the agreement by offering incentives for institutions to finance small and medium businesses, promoting alternative forms of financing that broaden the scope of options available to small and medium businesses and conducting studies on the best ways to support the businesses.
The agreement was driven by a belief from both organizations that small and medium businesses are a crucial component to growing the economies of West African countries.
ICD was founded in 1999 as part of the Islamic Development Bank Group to assist in private sector development under the parameters of Islamic finance laws. ICD consults with government agencies and policymakers to encourage a favorable environment for businesses and also stewards a number of financing projects that support small and medium businesses.