Publication: Improving SME Access to Trade Credit and Financing in MENA

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Dornel, Arnaud
Ait Ali Slimane, Meriem
Mohindra, Komal
Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Middle East and North Africa (MENA), especially female entrepreneurs, face steep challenges in accessing finance and credit. This situation is now even more dire with the Covid-19 crisis. SMEs finance their activities in three main ways: (i) shareholder funds from family, business partners, and investors (ii) payment facilities from suppliers and pre-payments from clients, known as inter-firm trade credit (in short “trade credit”), and (iii) credit facilities from banks and other financial institutions, of which a large chunk is for working capital. All these sources of funds are required for SMEs to conduct their activities in a financially sustainable manner. The focus of this quick note is on the latter aspects: SME access to inter-firm trade credit and bank facilities to finance trade. These have major implications for financial inclusion, private sector development, value chains, and ultimately, on employment and growth. IFC is already very active in this segment, notably in poorer and fragile countries with the support of the IDA Private Sector Window, but more can be done by the World Bank. The financing of trade and value chains also needs to be much better understood by policymakers in our MENA client countries.
Dornel, Arnaud; Ait Ali Slimane, Meriem; Mohindra, Komal. 2020. Improving SME Access to Trade Credit and Financing in MENA. MENA Knowledge and Learning Quick Notes Series;No. 180. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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