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SME Policy Index: The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014

Implementation of the Small Business Act for Europe

image of SME Policy Index: The Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014

This report assesses the elaboration and implementation of SME policy in eight Middle East and North African economies of the southern Mediterranean shore. The assessment is structured according to the ten policy principles covered in the Small Business Act for Europe (the SBA). One of the main findings is that over the last five years there has been progress in SME policy elaboration and implementation in spite of the political and economic turmoil. However, that progress has been modest, incremental and uneven across economies and dimensions. Political and economic stability, as well as institutional development, had a major impact on policy performance.

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Education and training for entrepreneurship, including training for women's entrepreneurship

SBA principle: Create an environment in which entrepreneurs and family businesses can thrive and entrepreneurship is rewarded

This chapter considers how MED economies promote entrepreneurship through education and training. It includes a focus on entrepreneurship in higher education and training for women entrepreneurs, neither of which were covered in the 2008 assessment.

The analysis underlines limited progress in policy development since the 2008 assessment, in particular on how education systems address entrepreneurship as a key competence. As in the 2008 exercise, the assessment identified excellent examples of good practice in entrepreneurial learning, many of which lay outside formal education and where non-governmental organisations are important players. More could be done to systematically identify and share good practice, within education and training-provider communities Good practice should be a reference point for policy makers in the search for workable and affordable solutions adapted to the cultural and institutional circumstances of the countries concerned.

The policy context to women’s entrepreneurship remains very much undeveloped in the region. More concerted efforts by government, business and civic society are needed to ensure women’s entrepreneurship finally gets the policy recognition it deserves. Improved training and more developed mentoring services are required to ensure women are better placed to contribute to the wider competitiveness drive in each economy.

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