Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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  • Publication
    Scaling Up Ecosystems for Small Businesses in the Democratic Republic of Congo: Analysis Based on Data from Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Matadi, and Goma
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-01)
    Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) dominate the private sector of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and can serve as an engine of growth and job opportunities for the country. To support the growth of MSMEs and increase employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, the DRC government prepared a SME Development and Growth Project with support and funding from the World Bank Group (WBG). To better understand the challenges particular segments of MSMEs face, WBG with support from the competitive industries and innovation program (CIIP) conducted a MSME ecosystem analysis in four project locations in the DRC: Kinshasa, Goma, Lubumbashi, and Matadi. The study leveraged a diverse range of data collection channels and methods to capture deep, detailed, and meaningful insights on formal and informal MSMEs in the DRC. Overall, the MSMEs report a positive revenue growth trend in the past five years. This increase is linked to growth in domestic demand and improved quality of suppliers. The key conclusions and recommendations reflect the needs of various types of MSMEs and the international experience of policy responses that are adapted on their needs: simplify and make more transparent the policy environment; address market and institutional gaps to foster private investment in the MSMEs; strengthen and expand the base of opportunity entrepreneurs; devise innovative solutions to infrastructure challenges; pilot approaches to address MSME skills gap at scale; and pursue integration into national market and value chains. Recommendations from the multi-stakeholder dialogues about the SME ecosystem will support the implementation of the SME Growth and Development Project but can also be applied more broadly and inform the design of government policies and reforms.