The Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (MSMEs) has started preparing the first national strategy for the development of production clusters in Egypt, according to Nevin Gamaa the managing director of the authority.
These clusters, which have been established without the intervention of the government for many years in specific areas, are basically productive clusters that include many enterprises and establishments that manufacture similar products and face the same opportunities and challenges.
The meeting was attended by Maya Morsy, the president of the National Council for Women and representatives of several parties involved in the development of the strategy, including the Federation of Egyptian Industries (FEI); the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring, and Administrative Reform; the Ministry of Local Development; and the Ministry of Education.
Gamaa explained that this strategy is being prepared within the framework of the industrial development strategy 2020 adopted by the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Based on the field survey carried out by the authority, 145 production clusters were established in all governorates.
“This strategy aims at developing these communities, raising their productivity, developing the skills of their employees, developing their competitiveness, and qualifying them for export abroad,” according to Gamaa.
She added that this strategy is being developed within the activities of the Natural Product Group Development Project, which is being implemented in cooperation with the African Development Bank (AfDB) and funded by the MENA Transition Fund.
In a related context, Gamaa revealed the authority will announce in the coming days a number of new funding programmes, which will be provided to citizens wishing to establish small projects, especially young people and graduates.
She explained that the system is currently cooperating with about 14 banks, through which they offer various credit products and different financing and lending mechanisms to suit the needs and wishes of all customers wishing to develop their existing projects or establish new projects.
“The authority actively participates in the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) programmes to support small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially industrial and agricultural projects, through the rehabilitation of the youth and training them to obtain loans from that initiative,” according to Gamaa.
She added that there are a number of financing programmes worth EGP 50,000 to EGP 5m, depending on the nature of the activity and the feasibility study of the project, noting that the system is now a priority to provide a full range of non-financial services for young people, entrepreneurship, small project management with the latest administrative and accounting methods.
Gamaa pointed out that the authority is currently preparing a number of training programmes, involving youth and girls from all governorates, pointing out that after the end of the training courses, the authority will provide funding programmes commensurate with the nature of their projects. This comes in addition to marketing and technical services the authority continues and develops.