MSMEDA’s strategic push: EGP 6.347bn injected to empower small, micro enterprises in Egypt

Hossam Mounir
8 Min Read

Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly convened with Basil Rahmi, CEO of the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), to assess the agency’s progress in fostering projects and entrepreneurship, as well as to discuss future strategies.

Prime Minister Madbouly began the meeting by highlighting the critical role of MSMEDA, especially considering the significant influence of small, medium, and micro enterprises (SMEs) on Egypt’s developmental goals. These enterprises are pivotal in increasing employment rates, nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit, generating innovative job opportunities, and driving the nation toward its economic growth objectives.

CEO Rahmi presented MSMEDA’s achievements using key performance indicators from January 2023 to February 2024. He reported that the agency successfully created 319,100 job opportunities, supported 173,000 small and micro projects, and provided financing totaling EGP 6.347bn.

Rahmi emphasized the agency’s comprehensive approach, detailing the non-financial services provided: launching 614 entrepreneurship training programs, conducting 622 seminars to promote entrepreneurial awareness, issuing 8,191 provisional licenses for new ventures, networking around 295 projects, training 1,819 individuals in e-marketing, facilitating the acquisition of 3,950 tax cards, 567 commercial records, and orchestrating 338 B2B integration agreements.

In terms of financial services, Rahmi highlighted that, in addition to the EGP 6.347bn in financing, MSMEDA allocated EGP 141m in grants for infrastructure, community enhancement, and educational initiatives within the same timeframe.

Rahmi reaffirmed MSMEDA’s dedication to the economic and social empowerment of women, with a substantial allocation of its services directed towards female entrepreneurs. Women represented 45% of the beneficiaries in small and micro project initiatives, 29% in one-stop services, 30% in marketing support, 54% in domestic exhibition participation, and 38% in international exhibition involvement.

Concerning sectoral funding distribution from January 2023 to February 2024, Rahmi noted that the commercial and service sectors received 85% of the financing for SMEs, while the industrial and agricultural sectors each secured 7% of the total funds.

He also shed light on the agency’s efforts to facilitate marketing for project owners through exhibitions, with 34 local expos in Cairo aiding approximately 2,514 exhibitors, 142 local expos across various governorates benefiting 1,574 exhibitors, and 8 international expos supporting 63 exhibitors.

Addressing the National Project for Vehicle Conversion to Natural Gas from January 2021 to February 2024, Rahmi explained that MSMEDA provided funding for the conversion of 70,477 vehicles to natural gas, totaling EGP 602.5m. This accounted for 40% of all conversions in Egypt during the period. Additionally, MSMEDA played a role in transforming Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh, and Hurghada into eco-friendly cities, in collaboration with CARGAS and Gastec, by converting 1,798 vehicles to natural gas.

From January 2021 to February 2024, the agency dedicated to the “Decent Life” presidential initiative has made significant strides in developing Egyptian villages. Rahmi reported that an investment of EGP 3.1bn supported 111,000 projects, which led to the creation of 202,000 new job opportunities. Additionally, the agency organized 318 entrepreneurship courses, trained 6,294 individuals, provided around 18,200 varied non-financial services, and facilitated the issuance of 4,376 new business licenses.

In a recent meeting, Rahmi underscored the key actions taken in 2023 to align with Egypt’s Vision 2030 and outlined the goals set for completion by the end of 2026. He stressed the agency’s commitment to fostering an environment conducive to the growth of medium, small, and micro enterprises (MSMEs) and entrepreneurship. This includes transitioning to the formal sector and acting as a catalyst for the provision of development services to these entities.

The agency is also focused on expanding access to both financial and non-financial services, tailored to the unique competitive advantages of each governorate, with an emphasis on sectors with high growth potential. This approach is complemented by efforts toward institutional development and the acceleration of the agency’s digital transformation.

Rahmi revealed that an integrated strategy and action plan for project development is in the final stages of preparation, with contributions from both international and local development experts, including those from the United Nations Development Programme in Egypt. The drafting phase of the action plan and strategy activation initiatives is complete, setting the stage for their effective execution. This will lead to the establishment of a detailed, transparent, and comprehensive action plan for the years 2024 to 2026.

He also discussed the ongoing collaboration between the agency and the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development to update the “National Strategy for MSME Development and Entrepreneurship,” originally crafted in 2018. Plans are in motion to launch a national project to boost the handicrafts and heritage sector—one of Egypt’s key economic pillars. The aim is to finalize a unified national strategy for the advancement of handicrafts and heritage industries within the year. Moreover, the agency is coordinating with the International Labour Organization to devise a strategy for integrating the informal sector into the formal economy, aligning with one of the agency’s primary goals.

Regarding the enhancement of the agency’s workforce capabilities, Rahmi noted the development of a comprehensive training plan for all employees. The 2024 training agenda is designed to be in sync with the agency’s organizational and strategic aims, systematically identifying training necessities, executing specialized training modules, promoting a culture of lifelong learning, and organizing leadership development programs to groom employees for future leadership roles. Additionally, the agency is leveraging technology by employing e-learning platforms for employee training.

The CEO of MSMEDA highlighted the ongoing digitalization of the agency’s operations and services. The agency is committed to fully implementing a digital transformation by enhancing its core infrastructure, digitizing workflows, and developing digital competencies. This includes bolstering the platform for small-scale enterprises and offering electronic payment options in line with the Electronic Payment Law, as well as leveraging AI technology to extend remote services.

Rahmi announced a partnership with “E-Markets” to oversee the enterprise platform, with ongoing collaborations with telecom firms to create a comprehensive national platform for small businesses, encompassing a wide array of service providers and catering to both financial and non-financial needs.

Reflecting on the agency’s strides in 2023 and its future direction, Rahmi underscored the importance of regular policy reviews to enhance the agency’s performance and expedite its mission to foster small business development.

He also spotlighted the collaborative efforts to enact Law No. 152 of 2020, which focuses on nurturing small enterprises and delineates the responsibilities of involved parties.

Moreover, Rahmi touched on the agency’s proactive engagement with partners and stakeholders, including signing agreements to broaden the reach of its services and promote awareness among the public, particularly the youth.

Lastly, Rahmi emphasized the support extended to local producers to refine their offerings and penetrate international markets, exemplified by organizing events like the “Torathna” exhibition and providing global marketing platforms for exhibitors.

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