The European Union (EU) and the EBRD are stepping up their support to small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt. The EBRD Small Business Support team held an official launch event for its EU-funded activities in Egypt on Tuesday, 25th June 2013.
The work has already begun; Small Business Support has already started more than 50 projects to help Egyptian businesses access high-quality business advice, with the European Union providing €2.4 million to the programme.
Accounting for more than 90 per cent of the private sector, small and medium-sized businesses are a fundamental part of the Egyptian economy. As such, strengthening this area is a top priority for both EU and EBRD activities in Egypt. Smaller businesses continue to suffer from poor access to finance, limited managerial skills and low productivity, greatly hampering their job creation potential.
“Developing the private sector through support to small and medium-sized enterprises is one of the EBRD’s key objectives in Egypt. In the current challenging economic environment, sound business advice has a real part to play in fostering a strong private sector for the country,” stated Philip ter Woort, EBRD Director for Egypt.
"The EBRD Small Business Support programme can bring tangible benefits for SMEs in Egypt. The track record of this facility in other countries is impressive – those benefiting from assistance through SBS have not only increased their turnover but also grown their workforce. There is no doubt that Small Business Support will meet a great demand in Egypt," affirms HE James Moran, the EU Ambassador to Egypt.
SBS connects small and medium-sized enterprises with the expertise that can transform their businesses. Working with local consultants and international experts, SBS gives businesses the tools, skills and know-how to innovate, attract finance and future expertise and become the next generation of business leaders. With expertise in management, marketing, quality management, engineering and beyond, SBS projects help enterprises become fitter, healthier, more prosperous and more resilient.
In addition to working with individual businesses, the EBRD also engages in policy dialogue with government agencies, local business associations and Chambers of Commerce to help promote the role of investment and local consultancy services in small business development.
*Small Business Support in Egypt is funded primarily by the European Union through the Neighbourhood Investment Facility, with additional funding from the EBRD SEMED Multi-Donor Account.