SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development



Better policies for small- and medium-sized entreprises is particularly relevant in the current global economic environment, where SMEs are regarded as the backbone of our economies as means to generate growth, innovation and employment. 

Currently chaired by Tunisia and Italy, the working group on SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital aims to engage partners in regional dialogue and peer review on issues specifically pertaining to SME growth and development.


The key activities of the working group are:

  • promoting high-growth enterprises
  • improving access to finance for SMEs
  • foster entrepreneurship and entreprise growth, particularly for women

Participants include policy makers from institutions in charge of enterprise policy, such as ministries of industry and economy, and SME development, and investment promotion agencies; members of private enterprise and the financial sector; international organisations and the donor community.


Activities and publications

Resources     ‌

Implementation of the “Small Business Act” for Europe in the Mediterranean Middle East
and North Africa 2014
- French version

New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa

Report on the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Entreprise

Women in Business - Policies to support women's entre-preneurship development in the MENA region‌ / in Arabic ‌

The Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition


Meeting of the Working Group on SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development, Rome, 17 July 2012
Regional Meeting on SME, Entrepreneurship and Access to Finance Indicators in the GCC Countries, Dubai, 6-7 December 2011
Growing Micro and Small Enterprises: Tackling Financing Obstacles in the MENA Region, Casablanca, 22-23 February 2011

For further information, please contact



The SME Policy Index

The SME Policy Index is a tool for policy-makers to promote the full potential of SMEs as drivers of job creation and economic growth. The Index encompasses key elements for effective enterprise development and builds on a set of policy indicators measuring the performance of participating economies in each area. During 2012, the OECD and partners undertook an assessment of entreprise development policies in nine Southern Mediterranean economies, updating the 2008 Report on the Implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise. This update will enable MENA policy-makers to better target measures to stimulate SME development and accelerate economic growth.                               

Promoting entreprise growth and competitiveness

The 2012 publication, New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa, assesses the current policy context for emerging enterprises in the MENA region and outlines policy tools and instruments that governments can leverage to support new enterprise development. The report breaks ground in understanding the dynamics of enterprise creation and contains concrete policy proposals for MENA economies to support the creation of high growth and future high‑impact firms. Enhanced support for enterprise creation, with a focus on high‑growth enterprises, has the potential to make an effective contribution to job creation and boost economic competitiveness.