Mogadishu — The World Bank today launched the SCORE Project, a new $28.5 million project implemented across the Somali peninsula to improve the enabling environment for private and financial sector development and catalyze private investment and job creation.
Somalia has a dynamic and highly entrepreneurial private sector, however, constraints including limited access to finance, skills shortages and limited regulatory and institutional capacity to support the financial and private sector limit prospects for sustained growth.
Component one of SCORE will aim to strengthen the institutions that underpin the financial and private sector by improving banking and financial system supervision, reducing the transaction costs associated with operating a formal business and improving the capacity of port management. This component will be executed by the Federal Government of Somalia through Project Implementation Units established within the Federal Government Ministry of Finance and Puntland Office of the President.
To directly address the needs of the private sector in Somalia, Component two of SCORE will finance the Somali Business Catalytic Fund, a matching grant scheme implemented in partnership with DAI that will support approximately $10 million in new investments across the Somali peninsula by SMEs. The first call for proposals is expected to be launched in June. In addition to the fund, a newly established SME Facility, implemented in partnership with BDO LLP, will provide training, coaching and business development services to businesses and service providers, including successful grantees of the Catalytic Fund.
The SCORE project builds from a previous operation, the Private Sector Development Re-engagement Phase II Project, implemented from 2011-2015.
The Multi-Partner Fund (MPF) under which SCORE is funded was established for New Deal implementation in Somalia. In total, donors have committed US$185 million to the MPF. Donors contributing to the MPF include the European Union, the Royal Norwegian Embassy, the Swedish International Development Cooperation (SIDA) Agency, the Swiss Agency for Development Co-operation (SDC), the UK Department for International Development (DfiD), Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Denmark Ministry of Foreign Affairs (DANIDA), Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the World Bank State and Peace-building Fund (SPF).