The Nomou Programme - Support for entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Middle East

The Nomou Programme

We support entrepreneurs

The Nomou Programme is managed by GroFin and provides access to finance in the form of medium-term risk capital and value-adding business support (expert advice and continuous guidance) to grow SMEs and support entrepreneurs in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Oman.

The programme delivers best in class services for dedicated entrepreneurs of start-up or existing SMEs. Each local office is staffed with GroFin Investment Managers and Investment Executives who provide front line support to entrepreneurs. Through these services, Nomou is increasing the capacity of the grossly under-served SME sector in MENA, thus developing supply chains and helping to create much-needed employment.

We support entrepreneurs

Nomou aims to promote the growth of a sustainable small and growing business sector that acts as the major employer and contributor to economic growth and social development in the MENA region.

Impact and Investments

Nomou Programme - SME Investments
115

SME
Investments

Nomou Programme - Entrepreneurs Supported
1199

Entrepreneurs
Supported

Nomou Programme - Business Loans Approved
US$ 77.8m

Business Loans
Approved

Nomou Programme - Investors and Funders
10

Investors / Funders

Nomou Programme - Raised Capital and Grants
US$ 100m

Raised capital & grants towards funds

Nomou Programme - Economic Value Added
US$ 198m

Economic value added p.a.

(Figures as at 31 December 2019)

Nurturing SMEs in MENA

In 2012, GroFin and a UK-based charity, founded the Nomou Programme through a restricted donation of US$50M. The objectives of the programme are to create sustainable employment, economic growth, and positive social impact through the nurturing and expansion of a sustainable small and medium-sized business sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). This cooperation between GroFin and the UK-based charity is built on a 10-year strategic partnership which has resulted in a proven unique, portable, and scalable solution for the development of sustainable SMEs.

The Nomou Programme is further funded by institutional investors and development organisations such as UKAID, as well as local and international Development Finance Institutions including KfWDutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF)NorfundAnthos Capital and AHL Charitable Foundation. GroFin is the co-promoter and implementing partner who manages the funds and provides business support to Nomou’s SME clients.

Nomou, meaning growth in Arabic, provides access to medium-term growth finance and value-adding Business Support to committed entrepreneurs in the region. Through these services, Nomou is increasing the capacity of the grossly underserved SGB sector, thus developing supply chains and helping to create much needed employment.

Nomou Programme Funds

Established as a regional initiative in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Nomou Programme currently invests in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and Oman. The Nomou Funds for start-up and growth enterprises are open to development and impact orientated investors from the public and private sector such as development finance institutions, international financial institutions as well as private investors.

Nomou Jordan Fund Client-Abou Arab

Abou Arab – Nomou Jordan Client

The Nomou Jordan Fund (NJF) was launched in 2014 to support the development of the country’s SME sector. It prioritises investments in women-owned and employment-intensive businesses to create maximum impact. The Fund’s mandate also includes a strong focus on investing in businesses owned by – or employing – refugees or migrants.

As the main driver of economic growth in Jordan, SMEs are also the main source of export earnings and value creation. Access to business loans is a challenge faced by Jordanian SMEs due to lack of reliable collateral, lack of reliable guarantors, lack of track record, lack of business management skills, high-interest rate, and lender’s requirements prior to SME loans, among others. SMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs thus have to often resort to the informal sector, family and friends for access to finance.

The success of the Nomou Jordan Fund (NJF) is founded in its integrated solution of providing both appropriate risk finance and value-adding business support to SMEs. The business support facility upholds the Fund’s mission by affording SMEs the hands-on support they need to access finance, increase their viability, and manage the numerous risks and challenges they face. The Fund’s support is aimed at maximising the success of SMEs and their socio-economic impact.

The Nomou Jordan Fund also supports Syrian refugees who fled to Jordan to relocate since war broke out in their country in 2011. The Fund provides a unique combination of access to finance, business development skills and market linkages to Syrian entrepreneurs in Jordan, as well as Jordanian SMEs that employ and support the livelihoods of Syrian refugees.

Investors and Funders


Shell FoundationKfW-JordanOpen Society Foundations
AHL Charitable FoundationUKaidGroFIn

What Nomou Entrepreneurs Say

“GroFin became our partner when banks refused our loan applications. We were short of experience, but we found all the support we needed in GroFin. They were there to help us with everything from planning to marketing and sales.”

“GroFin’s financial and business support resulted in extending our geographical coverage, increasing our number of products from 12 to 25, hiring new employees, and growing sales by over 15% annually”

“We are extremely appreciative of GroFin’s close engagement with us in understanding the Iraqi market. The business support we received from GroFin helped with our vendor qualification and to diversify our services and our capabilities on the ground.”

Islamic Finance

The Nomou Programme is committed to supporting the local economy and taking the entrepreneur experience to the next level by offering Islamic finance products to cater to this emerging sector, thereby supporting growth and economic development.

Murabahah is the most widely used financing option in the world among all Islamic financing options. Murabahah cannot be used to fund working capital but only for the purchase of goods. However, the goods could be Sukuk and/or Shariah compliant bonds or securities in the stock market whereby the client can liquidate it on the spot and use the funds for his working capital needs.

Murabahah Product Financing

Murabahah is not a cash loan; it is a contract of sale of a specific commodity whereby the mark-up over the commodity is disclosed to the client. This Shariah compliant product allows GroFin to extend financial services to a client by purchasing the commodity for and on behalf of a client at a fixed mark-up, which can be repaid under agreed terms and over an agreed period.

Local Partners

The Nomou programme develops partnerships with credible local trade groups, government ministries, development agencies, and large organisations with extensive supply chains and other local SME stakeholders. These partnerships help the programme to achieve its mission by providing best in class services focused on supplying access to finance and market linkages to start-ups as well as growing SMEs. And by increasing the capacity of entrepreneurs and their businesses, the programme is developing supply chains and helping to create much-needed employment.

Moreover, the in-country network of business associations, accountants, SME consultants and SME focused banks, further the programme’s efforts to provide comprehensive business support services to SMEs and help to generate a steady flow of qualified entrepreneurs seeking our integrated support solution.

Nomou Programme Local Partners