Growing Micro and Small Enterprises: Tackling Financing Obstacles in the MENA Region


5th Meeting of the MENA-OECD Working Group on SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development


22-23 February, 2011 in Casablanca, Morocco

Organised in cooperation with the Moroccan Ministry for General and Economic Affairs


From Left to Right: Sergio Arzeni (OECD), Anthony O’Sullivan (OECD), H.E.Minister Nizar Baraka (Morocco), Ludovica Agro (Italy), Antonio Fanelli (OECD)
(Photo: Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse)


Access to finance for micro and small companies in the MENA region is difficult. The major challenge is to move beyond microfinance to longer-term financial products and services that are critical to overcoming constraints to growth.


The two-day event, opened by H.E. Nizar Baraka, Moroccan Minister of Economic and General Affairs, developed action-oriented recommendations on supply and demand-side financing to be presented at the next Ministerial conference.


Participants engaged in a debate and discussion on:

  • challenges in SMEs access to bank or alternative sources of financing;
  • analysing current lending practices in the MENA region; and
  • sharing good policies and innovative solutions to improve credit allocation.

The meeting followed up on the 4th Working Group meeting held in Tunis, 2009 MENA-OECD Ministerial Declaration and the work of the OECD-MENA Women’s Business Forum.


Participants included representatives from government institutions in charge of SME and entrepreneurship policy; business, banking and entrepreneur associations; researchers and academics; and members of the international policy and donor community.


Agenda: English / Français

Conclusions: English / Français

Participants List 

Press Coverage


Background documents:


Panel 1:

Panel 2:

Panel 3:

Panel 4:

Reporting Back:


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