AMMAN — Micro and small enterprises with up to 19 employees represent 98 per cent of all businesses in Jordan and account for half of the country’s employment in the private sector, according to a statement by the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO).
Micro and small enterprises (SMEs) are important drivers of job creation and economic development in Jordan, the statement said, noting that they lack “concerted and coordinated support” from the government and businesses, hindering them from achieving their “full economic potential”.
The Kingdom can increase the contribution of SMEs to its economy and society through policies that encourage the entry of new start-ups, and boost performance and growth of existing SMEs, the statement continued.
"Our aim at JEDCO is to provide excellent and transparent services to enhance the competitiveness of Jordanian SMEs,” JEDCO CEO Bashar Al Zu'bi was quoted in the statement as saying.
“The Jordan SME User Guides, which are the main outputs of our fruitful cooperation with the OECD, will facilitate opening up new partnerships between the public and private sectors, and will enhance the quality of information and indicators shaping our SMEs policy reforms aimed at creating a better environment for SME growth," he added.
Carlos Conde, head of the Middle East and Africa Division of the OECD, said: “The partnership between JEDCO and the OECD shows the Kingdom’s commitment and capacity to address critical policy issues in light of the best international practices,” according to the statement.
“We are working together to provide government and business with action oriented tools that will make a difference for Jordanian SMEs and entrepreneurs. Indeed, an enabling environment for entrepreneurs created through better SME policies is a condition for more and better jobs,” Conde added.
Since 2016, the OECD and JEDCO have partnered to address issues in Jordan’s existing support for SMEs and start-ups, compiling three “how to” guides to enhance SME performance in the Kingdom, according to the statement.
The SME User Guides offer concrete steps that Jordan, as well as other countries, can take to lay the foundations for solid SME development, it said.
For the Kingdom specifically, the statement advises taking advantage of untapped resources and new opportunities, as “there are many Jordanian actors (both public and private) that can cooperate to better support SMEs and give direction on how to create a stronger economy”.
Other suggestions that the statement offers to Jordan include measuring SME performance with “better data”, evaluating current SME policy impact, and providing a diagnosis in order to move forward.
JEDCO is a governmental organisation dedicated to supporting the development of emerging businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises in Jordan, according to their website.
OECD, according to the statement, is a global policy forum that works with over 100 countries to promote policies to improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.
The project was funded by the MENA Transition Fund and was implemented jointly by the Global Relations Secretariat, the Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities and the Statistics and Data Directorate of the OECD, the statement said.
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