Investing in Employment in the Middle East and North Africa Region

SANAD Entrepreneurship Academy



“Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) account for 60% of GDP and 70% of employment in the Middle East and North Africa – they are crucial to a vibrant economy. Limited access to financial resources, however, keeps MSMEs from fulfilling their role as an engine of economic growth, employment and prosperity.

Surveys show that only about 20% of the region’s MSMEs have access to financing. One of the key challenges is that the right lending products and processes are not yet in place. To support financial institutions in reaching out to the MSME sector, SANAD makes funding and technical assistance available to financial institutions and service providers in the region to reach ‘missing middle’ and effectively accompany MSMEs on their path to sustained growth.”

In funding micro, small and medium enterprise development in the Middle East and North Africa, the SANAD Fund for MSME follows four imperatives:

  • Maintain and create employment, especially for the youth – primarily through support to small and medium enterprises
  • Reduce poverty – by facilitating self-employment, primarily through microfinance
  • Build inclusive financial systems – by cooperating with banks, microfinance institutions and other institutions to facilitate access to financial services
  • Increase access to financing for housing, promote agriculture and financial innovation

Over the long term, SANAD will engage the market more broadly and deeply with the goal of grooming emerging institutions for access to finance from local and international sources on market-based terms.

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