Regionally, MSMEs account for more than 40% of private-sector employment, yet in many MENA countries they lack access to finance, opportunities to market their products, and effective business development services.
The winds of the Arab Spring gusted late into Syria, arriving within a climate quite distinct from the political storm that swept through Egypt and Tunisia. Violent clashes between protestors and government forces in Syria are ongoing without any sign of slackening, dispute resolution, or concord bringing a timely settlement.
The Bank, in partnership with the government as well as a variety of stakeholders including NGO’s, banks, and micro and small enterprises, has been supporting the financing needs of micro and small businesses through the Enhancing Access to Micro and Small Enterprises Project.
Revolutions that have occurred, or the so-called Arab Spring, in some of the Arab countries have had a direct impact on the microfinance industry, like all other sectors. However, the impact has differed from one country to another, according to the relevant background of each country.
In order to meet the challenges, a well developed regulatory framework as well as a strong support structure for the MFIs in the region is core. Sound regulations will enable the sector to grow in a sustainable way.