Roundtable Discussions

Egypt's Missing SMEs: Time to Act

Date : 12/9/2014

Speakers : Group of Speakers

An Event held in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

The potential of the vast pool of small and medium businesses in Egypt to grow into lucrative, innovative and competitive firms is unrealized. Their latent capacity to generate jobs, export and create value for large business is significant but there are barriers to their growth. 

A bold and far reaching initiative to invigorate smaller businesses is needed. The time to act is now. Government is focused on the business environment for smaller firms. International financial institutions will be working with banks to expand access to capital. However, international experience has shown these interventions are not sufficient to invigorate smaller businesses and to achieve the desired economy-wide impact and scale required in Egypt for economic recovery and growth.

Large business has a critical role to play. Mentoring and engaging with smaller business on a large scale can catalyze graduation of firms to productive, profitable, and innovative businesses that can play their critical role in the economy. 

What can large Egyptian businesses do to better develop and integrate small and medium enterprises? How can smaller firms become better suppliers, distributors and exporters? What incentives and institutions would create a market that allows smaller firms to grow?


Shantayanan Devarajan, Chief Economist of the Middle East & North Africa Region, World Bank

Ravi Kanbur, T.H. Lee Professor of World Affairs, Professor of Economics & Management, Cornell University


Ahmed Fikry Abdel Wahab, General Manager and CEO, Egyptian German Automotive

Gamal Muharam, President, Egyptian Factoring Association

Neveen El Tahri, Chairperson and Managing Director, Delta Shield for Investments