Nevine Gamea — Minister of Trade and Industry and CEO of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) — stressed that the past eight years have witnessed an unprecedented boom in financing and services provided to the small enterprise sector.

She indicated that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has given the sector unparalleled attention since assuming his post through continuous directives to various state agencies and institutions for the benefit of small and micro enterprises (SMEs).

Gamea also explained that the MSMEDA works within the framework of an integrated system in cooperation with various ministries, authorities, governorates, and relevant authorities to create a stimulating legislative climate and an environment conducive to young people to invest and establish projects.

It also seeks to empower women economically and socially and raise the quality of life in lower-income areas, as well as create and provide decent and sustainable job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young people.

The minister’s statements came on the side-lines of the celebrations of the International Day of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises.

Gamea revealed that the agency has expanded in pumping funds to the small enterprises sector and worked to facilitate the availability of funds to clients and beneficiaries, amounting to EGP 40bn from 1 July 2014 to 30 May 2022, which funded 1.6m small and microfinance enterprises and provided more than 2.5m job opportunities.

She also indicated that the agency has coordinated and cooperated with various concerned authorities in the country to expand providing non-financial services to the SME sector, such as project creation services and issuing the necessary licenses.

About 216,000 final and temporary licenses were issued for new projects in addition to 57,000 tax cards. Moreover, 56,000 certificates of classification and benefits were issued along with 19,000 enterprises in government procurement with total tenders exceeding EGP 1bn.

Additionally, 51,000 individuals were given training within the framework of the agency’s efforts to qualify young people and graduates for the labour market and enhance their skills in self-employment and managing small enterprises.

Also, more than 1,000 exhibitions were organised to enhance marketing opportunities for enterprise owners, with sales and contracts in those exhibitions exceeding EGP 500m.

Gamea added that the issuance of Project Development Law 152 of 2020 expressed the state’s vision to support project owners, especially young people and graduates.

The law included various packages of incentives, services, and privileges that provide guarantees of success for new projects, enhance the continuity of existing projects, and facilitate the entry of projects operating in the informal sector into the formal economy.

It also encourages small enterprises to expand and grow, enhance productivity, maximise profitability, and open up great marketing prospects at home and abroad.

Furthermore, the minister praised the importance of the annual celebration of the International Day of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises, which was an Egyptian proposal that received the approval and support of the United Nations.

She noted that the challenges and crises that the world is going through show the increasing need to support SMEs as the gateway to utilising the energies of youths and providing job opportunities.

They also play an important role in providing various products and services and contributing to economic development.

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Hossam Mounir