SME Policy, Entrepreneurship and Human Capital Development



Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are essential drivers of job creation and inclusive economic growth around the world. In the MENA region, SMEs account for between half and two thirds of employment and have a significant potential to contribute substantially to innovation and value creation.

Currently chaired by Tunisia and Italy, the MENA-OECD working group on SME policy and entrepreneurship engages partners in regional dialogue, analysis and peer learning on issues for SME growth and development.

The key activities of the working group are:

  • fostering enterprise growth and entrepreneurship, including for women

  • improving access to finance for SMEs

  • strengthening the monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes for SME support

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



Resources     ‌

SME Policy Index in the Mediterranean Middle East and North Africa 2014 - français

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


SME Policies for Job Creation in the MENA Region, 23-24 September, Paris

Promoting High Growth Enterprises in the MENA Region, 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 Jorge Gálvez Méndez or


The SME Policy Index

The SME Policy Index provides a tool for structured and comparative evaluations of policies and initiatives on key SME policy areas such as access to finance, access to markets, effective institutional and regulatory frameworks, etc. The index helps to set priorities for reform by identifying strong and weak points in SME policy design and implementation. It builds on a set of policy indicators measuring the performance of participating economies across different areas of policy making.

In 2013, the OECD, the European Commission and the European Training Foundation undertook an assessment of enterprise development policies in nine Southern Mediterranean economies, updating the 2008 Report on the Implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Enterprise. This update enables MENA policy-makers to better target measures to stimulate SME development and accelerate economic growth.                               

Promoting enterprise growth and competitiveness

New Entrepreneurs and High Performance Enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa (2012) 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.


Related Documents