SME support

Egypt intends to unleash the potential of 2.5 million MSMEs (97% of entities and 75% of employment) to contribute to the Vision 2030. The 2016 MSME and Entrepreneur National Strategy is coordinated by the MSME Development Agency (2017) reporting to the Cabinet. Targeting to create thousands of jobs by fiscal year 2021-2022, the government launched several initiatives designed to support and fund SME growth. These include allocating at least 10 per cent of available land to young people and SMEs and expanding micro-financing for women to create 100,000 jobs in agricultural, commercial and services. SMEs area also supported in clustering, integrating value chains, innovating and valorizing national resources. In terms financing, the MSMEDA upgrades the microfinance institutions and the Central Bank (CBE) launched the SME-financing initiative (2016- 2019) encouraging banks to increase their SME lending. A new SMEs law is in the making that is notably expected to give incentives for small businesses to join the formal economy. Several SME credit lines are funded through EU development finance institutions (e.g. EIB, EBRD, AFD) and collaborate with the Credit Guarantee Company’s EUR100m- SME guarantee trust fund.

Covid response

In March 2020, the Egyptian Government announced a EUR5.9 bn stimulus package to support the economy, and notably the manufacturing and tourism sectors. To support liquidity, the Central bank of Egypt (“CBE”) cut down the discount rate by 3% and allocated EGP 20 bn (EUR1.2 bn) to support the stock exchange. This is completed by the postponement of repayment of loans for SMEs by 6 months, the reduction of natural gas and electricity prices to industries and tax deferral in some sectors. A EGP 50 bn (EUR2.5bn) fund was created to extend loan facilities at subsidized interest rate. The Government also decided to expedite the payment of EGP 1 billion of export subsidy and facilitate export procedures. READ MORE


The Small Business Act national coordinator – SBAC in Egypt is Dr Nermine Abullatah, Advisory to the Minsiter, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Under her supervision MED MSMEs working groups composed of institutional and private sector representatives have been established to cooperate in the Programme implementation, mainly in the areas of policy, access to finance and SME internationalization.

The Working Groups (WG)

In order to ensure that the regional level activities integrate the national priorities on the two specific topics and translate into impact at the country level, the Programme implementation will rely on the establishment - under the coordination of the SBA Coordinators - of at least two working groups in each of the partner countries, one for MSME Access to Finance and one for MSME Internationalisation.

These working groups are formed of relevant policy makers, regulatory bodies, public agencies, representatives of the private sector and – when possible – representatives of the national legislative body; the EU Delegation representatives and relevant development partners will be invited to participate to the working sessions. The working groups will not exceed 15 members of which at least one third will be women.

The working groups are responsible for:

Providing a consultative input on the technical deliverables.

Assisting in the production of the national roadmaps for implementing the tools developed at regional level.

Facilitating the collection of relevant programme information at national level.

Facilitating the mobilization of stakeholders, programmes, resources and instruments that can gear up the implementation of the road maps at country level.