Smeda, Abraaj sign MoU to support SME sector

LAHORE -  The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity firm has announced a partnership with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority to support the SME sector in Pakistan. The partnership was initiated following the launch of the ‘Pakistan Private Investment Initiative’, which brought together USAID and The Abraaj Group to launch a Pakistan focused investment fund. An MoU, in this regards, was signed by Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Chief Executive Officer, SMEDA and Mr. Tabish Gauhar, Partner of The Abraaj Group.
The MoU covers a series of initiatives including: an information campaign highlighting the benefits of institutional capital and private equity; the identification of potential investee companies beyond the top three cities in Pakistan, and potentially utilizing SMEDA’s Business Development Services (BDS) for capacity building in SMEs. The lack of access-to-capital has long been a constraining factor for SME growth in Pakistan and SMEDA, as the apex SME development organization in Pakistan is playing a key role in garnering support for the SME sector through institutional collaboration with local and international private sector partners and development finance institutions. The MoU with The Abraaj Group, like the ones recently entered into with the Islamabad Stock Exchange and the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry, are important steps in achieving SMEDA’s goal of facilitating the growth of SMEs.
CEO SMEDA, Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, at the occasion said, “We at SMEDA are building partnerships with organizations for increasing investment through various channels. Abraaj’s investment fund provides a much needed access-to-capital stimulus. This partnership, I am hopeful, will pave a way for Private Equity financing to play a positive role in lifting the growth trajectory of the business sector”.
On signing the Memorandum of Understanding, Mr. Tabish Gauhar, Partner at The Abraaj Group, said, “The Abraaj Group has extensive experience of entrepreneurship ecosystem development across global growth markets.
We are very pleased to bring this experience to bear, in partnership with SMEDA, to create new avenues for entrepreneurs to access capital, and thereby lead the way for future domestic investments in Pakistan”.

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