Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) are considered the backbone of local and global businesses. Globally, it constitutes around 90% of all firms and around 60-70% of total employment. In Egypt, the MSME contribute to 99% of private enterprises according to recent research.
This year the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) marks the Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day, taking stock of the joint collaboration and efforts directed to the Egyptian people over the years.
Since 1991, UNDP has enjoyed a strategic and long-term partnership with MSMEDA. The partnership was designed to support it to move forward with the implementation of its unique mandate in Egypt contributing to the creation of jobs, promotion of micro- and small-businesses and alleviation of poverty throughout Egypt.
UNDP continues its support to MSMEDA in the implementation of its new mandate as the designated public entity responsible for developing the MSMEs sector directly or through coordination of the efforts of the different stakeholders as well as Entrepreneurship. With its headquarters in Cairo, MSMEDA has an outreach capacity to implement its policies and programmes through a network of 33 regional offices covering the 27 governorates of Egypt.
“We are proud to partner with MSMEDA and to share the same goal: we are committed to development and the promotion of job creation. Investing in SMEs means employment and income generation opportunities for people, particularly for youth and women. While SMEs are small, they are the backbone of the economy, constitute a multiplier of employment, a major source of innovations and one of the keys to durable poverty alleviation.” “By investing in SMEs, we are contributing to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.” Said Randa Aboul Hosn, UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt.
And from her side, MSMEDA Executive Director Ms. Nevine Gamae said that the partnership between MSMEDA and UNDP has extended for more than 27 years, as one of the most strategic partners to the Social Fund for Development (SFD). The partnership continued to date after the establishment of MSMEDA which replaced the SFD in 2017. Ms. Gamae added that MSMEDA looks forward to continuing this partnership in the next period. Through this partnership, it provides the agency with the technical support needed to support in achieving its goals and assigned role.
MSMEs directly empower women and youth. Through the UNDP-MSMEDA partnership, MSMEDA has 11.2 Billion Egyptian Pound disbursed as loans for financing MSMEs which reached 526,858 micro and small-sized enterprises and created around 802,434 job opportunity. Women have highly benefited from the financial services where 48% of the total number of beneficiaries were women. Moreover, 45% of the total were in the age group between 20 and 35 years old.
The collaboration didn’t only provide financial services, but it has been extended to building people’s capacities to run their own projects. Between 2017 and 2019, MSMEDA held 510 training workshops on entrepreneurships which benefited at least 11,947 participants.
As part of the strategic partnership, UNDP is working with MSMEDA to mainstream gender equality and women’s empowerment principles through MSMEDA’s policies and programmes. In 2019, MSMEDA has received the Gender Equality Seal Award which has been provided by The National Council for Women and UNDP. MSMEDA is the first public institution in Egypt to receive the award, the first in the Arab region and the second at the global level.
MSMEDA and UNDP in Egypt will continue to support MSMEs in Egypt. And on the Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Day renews its commitment towards this support which benefited millions of people since the creation of MSMEDA. It also calls upon youth and other sectors of the society to pursue their aspirations in creating their own enterprises regardless of its size.
For more information, please contact:
Fatma Elzahraa Yassin