Egypt - The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) collaborates with the Competitiveness Program for the Middle East and North Africa, affiliated with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), to organize the meeting of the Small Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Policies Working Group for the region. The event, titled “Empowering Small Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa,” focuses on digitization, green transition, financing availability, and formal sector transition. Co-chaired by Tunisia and Italy, this working group aims to enhance policies for small enterprises and entrepreneurship in Egypt.

Basil Rahmi, CEO of MSMEDA, leads the agency’s delegation at the meeting. In his opening speech, he highlights the positive impact of close cooperation between MSMEDA and OECD on fostering an enabling environment for MSMEs’ growth in the Middle East and North Africa. Egypt’s Vision 2030 aligns with the country program signed with the OECD, emphasizing policy review for small enterprises and entrepreneurship.

MSMEDA, established in 2017 to replace the Social Fund for Development, plays a crucial role in supporting and developing MSMEs in Egypt. The Small Enterprise Development Law 152/2020 provides incentives and facilities to encourage entrepreneurs and support small projects across various sectors. With 33 branches across Egypt, MSMEDA collaborates with intermediary agencies, major Egyptian banks, civil society associations, and financial institutions to facilitate financing for MSMEs.

The agency targets new entrepreneurs, young graduates, and citizens seeking to establish or develop small projects. Specialized financing programs focus on women, youth, and projects for people with disabilities. Currently, MSMEDA collaborates with stakeholders to create a national strategy for MSMEs and entrepreneurship, aligned with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and sustainable development goals. The strategy will serve as a roadmap, emphasizing evidence-based approaches and encouraging innovative, environmentally friendly projects.

MSMEDA also supports venture capital programs, investing directly in venture capital companies, incubators, and business accelerators specializing in innovative projects, technology, and renewable energy. Additionally, the agency develops a national electronic platform to provide information and services for starting or enhancing small projects.

Rahmi expresses pride in contributing to this ambitious region, where small and medium enterprises account for 10% to 40% of job opportunities.

“We are proud to be part of this strategic ambitious region that has abundant resources. We hope to further bolster our cooperation with other bodies to maximise support for the MSMEs sector, build skills, and make financing available, given that small and medium enterprises represent between 10% and 40% of job opportunities in the region,” Rahmi said.

He concluded by emphasising the positive impact of discussing new opportunities and exchanging experiences during this important event.

The meeting includes policy and decision-makers from Palestine, Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and Turkey. Representatives from the European Union, the Union for the Mediterranean, and German parties also participate, alongside individuals from partner agencies in Egypt.


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Hossam Mounir