Harnessing Digital Technologies to Promote SMEs in the MENAP Region

How can SMEs leverage digital technologies to promote inclusive growth?

Policy makers in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (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. Digital technologies have the potential to boost SMEs productivity and growth and economies are rapidly digitalizing, thus SMEs need to embrace digital solutions to compete and survive.

This study aims to identify the policy mix that can enable MENAP SMEs to leverage digital technologies to boost growth and promote inclusive growth. The analysis addresses four principal questions:

  • Why did strategies to promote the development of SMEs in MENAP have a limited impact on their growth and employment creation in the region?
  • Can digital technologies usher in a new era of resilience, growth and quality employment generation among SMEs?
  • How digitalized are MENAP SMEs and what constraints do they face in digitalizing their businesses?
  • What policy mix can enable SMEs to leverage digital technologies to boost their growth and achieve inclusive growth, and what role should the government play?

About this Publication

By Inutu Lukonga