Micro, Small, and Medium Entreprise Technical Assistance Facility

Project completed

The joint World Bank/IFC Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise ("MSME") program for the Middle-East and North Africa Region is a multi-donor technical assistance facility ("the Facility") that aims to improve access to finance for MSMEs, promote sustainable job creation, and encourage private-sector led growth in six countries: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and West Bank & Gaza.

Country/region Period Budget
01.10.2012 - 31.12.2018
CHF  4’069’266

MSMEs account for a high share of private sector employment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), particularly in countries with large informal sectors. According to official statistics, MSMEs typically account for 10 to 40 percent of all employment in MENA. However, employment in MSMEs is likely to be significantly underestimated in official records. The majority of enterprises in MENA are MSMEs, estimated at 23-19 million (formal and informal) in number and comprising 90-80 percent of total businesses in most countries. Access to finance is one of the greatest challenges facing MSMEs in MENA.


The Facility supports inclusive and sustainable growth in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and West Bank & Gaza by providing a package of technical assistance, advisory services, and policy support. The Facility is also a response to the urgent need and increasing demand in the region for generating job opportunities. In addition, the Facility is leveraging World Bank Group investment for enhancing access to finance for MSMEs.

Medium-term outcomes

Increased access to finance by MSMEs.

Increased outreach of MSMEs with financial services.


Expected results:  

Enabling environment for MSMEs.

Increased capacity of financial institutions to provide financial services to MSMEs.

Increased awareness and capacity of MSMEs.

Results from previous phases:  

As of December 2014: 4 laws/regulations have been enacted and 2 key laws/regulations are on track to be enacted- 2,1 million loans have been disbursed by microfinance institutions (MFIs) and bank project clients, for a value of $2,4 billion to MSMEs- the TA Facility leveraged $2,15 billion in IBRD and IFC credit lines.

Progress have been done in the areas of microfinance financing to women. The facility supports financial institutions to increase the provision of financial services to women. For example, The Lebanese BLC Bank since employed more female personnel and established a division developing new financial products especially designed for the needs of female customers. Medium business loans disbursed to women since increased by 92% (from $11 to 21 million).

In Tunisia, IFC conducted a diagnostic of the Central Bank of Tunisia’s credit registry and provided recommendations for its modernizing.

Advisory services provided to financial institutions: SME banking, risk management

Directorate/federal office responsible SECO
Credit area Development cooperation
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    4’069’266 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    0 Budget inclusive project partner CHF    38’950’000
Project phases Phase 3 01.02.2012 - 31.03.2019   (Completed) Phase 2 01.01.2019 - 30.03.2025   (Current phase)

Phase 1 01.10.2012 - 31.12.2018   (Completed)