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Ms. Inutu Lukonga

IV. Policy Options to Promote SMEs and Inclusive Growth in MENAP A. An Enabling Environment for Digitalization of SMEs B. Financial Sector and Business Environment Reforms Figures 1: Structure of SMEs 2. Composition of SMEs by Business Sector and Markets 3. Trends in Startups 4. Factors Impeding SMEs Growth 5. SMEs’ Credit Risks 6. Initiatives to Enhance SMEs’ access to Finance 7. Policy Reforms to Ease the Process of Establishing Businesses 8. Business Support Programs 9. Performance of SMEs 10. Factors Underpinning SMEs performance 11

Ms. Inutu Lukonga

structure, performance and impediments to growth. This section also reviews the policies that have been implemented by various countries to promote SMEs growth and evaluates their effectiveness. Section III discusses the benefits of SMEs adopting digital technologies, analyses digitalization trends in MENAP SMEs, and identifies factors hampering the digital transformation of SMEs. Section IV summarizes the findings and identifies policy strategies to enable SMEs to leverage digital technologies to boost their growth and employment creation, thereby facilitate

Ms. Inutu Lukonga
Policy makers in the MENAP region have been formulating policies and designing programs to develop small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with a view to create jobs and achieve inclusive growth. But while the programs have helped increase the number of enterprises, growth of SMEs continues to face barriers to growth. As a result, microenterprises predominate and SMEs contribution to employment remains below potential. Partial implementation of reforms explain some of the underperformance, but frictions in strategy design also played an important role. Sustaining current reforms is, therefore, not sufficient to achieve inclusive growth. Digital technologies have potential to boost SMEs productivity and growth and economies are rapidly digitalizing, thus SMEs need to embrace digital solutions to compete and survive. Therefore, for SMEs to be effective engines of inclusive growth, a rethinking of the SME development strategy is needed that makes SMEs’ digital transformation a priority.