88% of SMEs Say Government Support Is Key For Growth

By Soko Directory Team / Published July 15, 2021 | 11:03 am




KEY POINTS

88 percent of SMEs across the Middle East and Africa have identified government support and implementation of effective policies as key business support areas for future growth, according to Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index.




88 percent of SMEs across the Middle East and Africa have identified government support and implementation of effective policies as key business support areas for future growth, according to Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index.

The research correlates regional government efforts to advance GDP recovery and growth, to the implementation of supportive measures for the SME sector and the digital economy.

In addition to looking for effective regulatory support from governments, 92% of SMEs in MEA said they are also looking for support in upskilling of their teams.

88 percent highlighted the importance of improved telco infrastructure – pointing to opportunities to effect positive change in wide-ranging areas from education and skills development to systems and infrastructural progress.

Public-private partnerships are crucial for the effective development and implementation of initiatives that advance financial inclusion and inclusive growth. To achieve this, governments and the private sector must play a joint role in enabling a safe and secure operating environment.

Mastercard works closely with governments and the wider business community to advance SME inclusion into the digital economy through tailor-made digitization strategies, cutting-edge technologies, insights, and policy advice.

Across MEA, 51 percent of SMEs say government-led initiatives could have a positive impact in supporting their businesses.

These include the UAE, where Dubai Government launched a third stimulus package to support small and medium enterprises to maintain business continuity by reducing operational costs, while the Abu Dhabi Executive Council allocated AED 3 billion to the SME Credit Guarantee Scheme.

The Central Bank of Egypt made it easier for SMEs to access capital by encouraging banks to raise their share of loans to MSMEs.

A six-month debt relief finance scheme for SMMEs was launched by the South African government, along with a spaza support scheme and an agricultural disaster support fund for smallholder and communal farmers.

Furthermore, SMEs in the region recognize the great potential of public-private partnerships (PPP), and 63% think private sector initiatives and partnerships will benefit businesses and the markets in which they operate.

One in three SMEs (32%) think that collaborating with governments and businesses outside their markets could impact their growth. In Southern Africa, this was especially pronounced, with over half (56%) agreeing.

The need for the public and private sectors to work together to create a better environment for small businesses has been outlined in a public policy paper* titled Reimagining Support for Small Businesses, released by the Mastercard Policy Center for the Digital Economy in partnership with global consulting firm Kearney.

The paper outlines a number of strategic recommendations which highlight how effective policy and innovation can address many of the challenges faced by business-to-business SMEs.

“Collaboration is the key to developing a commercial landscape that is fit for future growth. Through effective partnerships, the public and private sectors can together create a supportive environment where SMEs can thrive.,” said Valerio Murta, Senior Vice President, Core Products Middle East, and Africa, Mastercard.

Read More: 61 Percent of SMEs In Kenya Optimistic About Recovery





About Soko Directory Team

Soko Directory is a Financial and Markets digital portal that tracks brands, listed firms on the NSE, SMEs and trend setters in the markets eco-system.Find us on Facebook: facebook.com/SokoDirectory and on Twitter: twitter.com/SokoDirectory

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