Meeting of the Working Group on SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development


17 July 2012 - Rome, Italy

Promoting private enterprise development is crucial to unlocking the growth potential of MENA economies. During this meeting, participants discussed policies to accelerate the development of two categories of firms with high potential impact on job creation and growth: high performance enterprises and women-led enterprises, including: 

  • launching an OECD-IDRC report on New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Young Entreprises in MENA, which analyses the entrepreneurial performance in MENA compared to other regions, and focuses on barriers and policies for the promotion of high growth entreprises
  • country-specific work on policies to promote high performance enterprises
  • developing guidelines for strengthening policies and measures to promote entrepreneurship, including women’s entrepreneurship, in selected countries.

Meeting participants also shared tools to strengthen evidence-based policy making through improved data collection on entrepreneurship and access to finance.

This event was hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and brought together policy makers in charge of enterprise policy from both MENA and OECD economies, as well as private sector representatives, international organisations and experts.

Key documents

Agenda: English / French

List of participants



Session 1 – High growth young entreprises in the MENA region

High Growth Entreprises in the MENA Region, Ms. Nadia Belhaj Hassine, International Development Research Centre, Egypt

New Entrepreneurs and High Growth Entreprises in the MENA Region, Mr. David Storey, University of Sussex, United Kingdom

New Entrepreneurs and High Growth Entreprises in the MENA Region: Conclusions and Policy Implications, Mr. Antonio Fanelli, Private Sector Development, OECD


Session 2 – Policies to support women's entrepreneurship

Women in Business: Policies to support women's entrepreneurship development in the MENA region, Ms. Nicola Ehlermann-Cache, Private Sector Development, OECD


Session 3 – Entrepreneurship and SME indicators for evidence-based policy-making in MENA

SME and Entrepreneurship Access to Finance: An OECD Scoreboard, Mr. Sergio Arzeni, OECD Centre fo Entrepreneurship, SMEs and Loval Development

Business Statistics and Entrepreneurship Indicators, Ms. Mariarosa Lunati, OECD Statistics Directorate


Session 4 – New prospects for SME policy in the MENA region: Institutional development and capacity building

The SME Policy Index: A tool to assess policies for entreprise development, Mr. Jorge Gálvez Méndez, Private Sector Development, OECD

The Social Fund for Development: Facing Egypt's Socio-Economic Challenges, Ms. Ghada Wally, Social Fund for Development, Egypt


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