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The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2018

Interim Assessment of Key SME Reforms

image of The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2018

This report provides an in-depth analysis of major reforms undertaken between 2014 and 2018 to promote micro, small and medium-sized enterprise development in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority and Tunisia. The report focuses on five strategic areas for SME policy making: SME definitions, statistics and institutions; improving business environments for SMEs and entrepreneurs; fostering access to finance; nurturing start-ups and SME growth; and the development of entrepreneurial human capital.

The report aims to showcase good practices and to point to areas where more efforts are needed. It provides valuable guidance for governments, private sector organisations, multilateral bodies and other stakeholders to intensify their efforts to support SMEs as essential vehicles for jobs and competitiveness. This is particularly relevant in a region striving to boost economic diversification, employment creation and the inclusion of youth and women in the economy.

The report is the result of a process of close collaboration among governments, the OECD, the European Training Foundation and the European Commission.

English Arabic, French

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Entrepreneurial human capital development

This chapter examines human capital development initiatives related to entrepreneurship and SME internationalisation in the MED economies. It focuses on three areas: entrepreneurial learning in upper secondary education (general and vocational); training for women’s entrepreneurship; and skills development for SME internationalisation. The analysis finds that although MED economies have improved their policy frameworks in this area, challenges remain – including the implementation of policies, data collection and analysis on training provision and evaluation.Key recommendations are as follows: 1. Governments should build multi-stakeholder and cross-ministerial partnerships to ensure the efficient implementation of action plans for entrepreneurial learning that may belong under different national strategies (such as education, vocational training, employment, economic development, exports). This could include promoting entrepreneurship as a key competence as well as business skills. MED economies could build on project-based initiatives to a systemic approach providing entrepreneurial learning into the national curricula at all levels of education.2. MED economies could move towards holistic approaches to supporting women’s entrepreneurship development rather than individual policy measures and actions. Holistic approaches could combine training with mentoring, coaching and networks set-up. Governments could also continue their efforts to produce and collect gender-disaggregated data to enable the design of policies tailored to the needs of entrepreneurial women.3. All MED economies require more developed data on SME training, particularly in terms of export potential. One lead in-country institution should co-ordinate data and wider intelligence (e.g. good practice) to support the government in setting policy priorities and resource allocation.

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