Reem El-Saedy, chief executive officer of entrepreneurship department at General Authority for Investment (GAFI), stressed the important role of SMEs in creating jobs and achieving regional development, as they spread across different governorates.
On the sidelines of “SMEs: The Arab Economic Strategic Choice” Conference, El-Saedy said the department has introduced untraditional finance methods through launching Bedaya Fund 1 and Bedaya Fund 2 with a capital of EGP 500 million. 40% of capital is allocated to finance projects in Cairo and 60% of which is allocated to finance projects in other governorates in Egypt. The finance targets various projects; including industrial, agricultural, livestock and fishery projects. El-Saedy noted that Bedaya Fund targets financing and providing technical support and experience to SMEs.
Bedaya Fund is developing SMEs through providing development services and consultations services amid the absence of governance, strategic view, and marketing. The Fund also develops youths’ ideas and provides them with consultations, training and finance from banks or Social Fund for Development.
El-Saedy noted that the challenges facing SMEs are almost the same in all Arab countries as there is not a unified notion for these SMEs or a monitoring body.
SMEs are working on “isolated islands”, as there is not a body responsible for developing and financing SMEs, El-Saedy added.