Saturday, June 22, 2024

Egypt’s MSMEDA Empowers Entrepreneurs: A Decade of EGP 51bn Investment and 3 Million Beneficiaries


Egypt Empowers 3 Million Entrepreneurs with EGP 51bn Investment Over a Decade

In a significant boost to entrepreneurship and small business development, the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (MSMEDA) in Egypt has made substantial financial contributions to the economy. Over the past ten years, from 2014 to 2024, MSMEDA has invested EGP 51 billion to support 3 million clients across the country. Basil Rahmi, CEO of MSMEDA, disclosed these impressive figures, highlighting the agency’s dedication to fostering economic growth and innovation.

Rahmi shared these insights during a seminar organized by the Egyptian-Lebanese Businessmen Association (ELBA), which delved into the crucial role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in driving economic development. The event provided a platform for discussing strategies to enhance support for SMEs and stimulate entrepreneurial activity.

Throughout this period, a significant portion of the funds, nearly 47%, was directed towards projects in Upper Egypt. In a noteworthy commitment to gender equality and empowerment, 45% of the total investment benefited women entrepreneurs, demonstrating MSMEDA’s focus on creating an inclusive business environment.

A part of MSMEDA’s contribution went beyond direct financial support to SMEs, encompassing EGP 3 billion towards vital infrastructure projects. These initiatives include road construction, school enhancement, and support for the Decent Life initiative, reflecting the agency’s holistic approach to improving the socio-economic landscape.

Rahmi expressed MSMEDA’s openness to partnerships with entities like the Egyptian-Lebanese Businessmen Association to further encourage the growth of SMEs and inspire youth entrepreneurship. Such collaborations are essential for the refinement and evolution of Law No. 152 of 2020, which aims to fortify the SME sector with proposed amendments, including the development of a national strategy for heritage crafts – a vision shared by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

To bolster the formal economy, the amendments target key areas such as taxation, customs, insurance, and civil protection, providing SMEs with a more nurturing and regulated business landscape. Rahmi pointed out MSMEDA’s structured governance, involving seven ministries and chaired by the Prime Minister, enhancing its capability to implement wide-ranging initiatives.

The agency is set to focus on artisans with the first amendment, encouraging their participation in the formal sector through tax breaks, financial support, and opportunities for training and showcasing their work at exhibitions like Turathna. Furthermore, attention is given to freelancers and startups, especially those engaging in innovative product or service development, with MSMEDA securing $50 million from the European Bank for these ventures.

Rahmi elaborated on the numerous advantages the law provides for SMEs, ranging from tax relief and financial access to land acquisition. Crucially, it mandates that 30% of the land in industrial zones is to be allocated to SMEs, facilitating their growth and development. Additionally, SMEs stand to benefit from 40% of government procurements, promoting their integration into larger economic activities and manufacturing endeavors.

Fouad Hedrj, Deputy Chairperson of the ELBA, reaffirmed the Association’s commitment to fostering strong ties between the private sector and MSMEDA. This partnership is viewed as crucial for sustainable development and creating opportunities for Egypt’s youth. Hedrj emphasized the collective goal of enhancing the investment environment, spurring economic growth, and cultivating an entrepreneurial culture among the younger generation.

ELBA’s support extends to financial assistance, training, marketing, and production capability enhancement for small projects, ensuring their successful integration into broader industrial and commercial supply chains. Tax incentives and exemptions are particularly anticipated to stimulate growth and investment in early-stage projects.

Omar Balbaa, an ELBA board member and head of the commerce committee, recognized MSMEDA’s pivotal role in encouraging young Egyptians towards entrepreneurship. He highlighted the importance of state and political leadership support for youth, considering it essential for the long-term success and sustainable development of entrepreneurial enterprises in Egypt.

This concerted effort by MSMEDA, the Egyptian-Lebanese Businessmen Association, and other stakeholders reflects a strong commitment to empowering entrepreneurs and small businesses. Through financial support, legal reforms, and strategic partnerships, Egypt is fostering an environment conducive to innovation, growth, and economic prosperity.

Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling
Alex Sterling is a seasoned journalist with over a decade of experience covering the dynamic world of business and finance. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for uncovering the stories behind the headlines, Alex has become a respected voice in the industry. Before joining our business blog, Alex reported for major financial news outlets, where they developed a reputation for insightful analysis and compelling storytelling. Alex's work is driven by a commitment to provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions. Whether it's breaking down complex economic trends or highlighting emerging business opportunities, Alex's writing is accessible, informative, and always engaging.

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