The Punch

SMES want effective policy implementa­tion, govt support – Report

- DAYO ADENUBI

Aresearch report by Mastercard has said 88 per cent of Small and Medium Enterprise­s across the Middle East and Africa identified government support and effective policy implementa­tion as most important for business growth.

According to a statement from Weber Shandwick, an advertisin­g agency, the Mastercard MEA SME Confidence Index correlates regional government efforts to economic advancemen­t to the implementa­tion of supportive measures for SMES and the digital economy.

It said government support and implementa­tion of effective policies was highlighte­d as ‘important’ by 88 per cent of the region’s SMES, 50 per cent of which rated this point as a ‘musthave’ essential.

It said this sentiment was especially pronounced in the Middle East and North Africa at 92 per cent and subsaharan African regions at 90 per cent.

According to the report, in addition to looking for effective regulatory support from government­s, 92 per cent of SMES in MEA said they were also looking for support in upskilling their teams, and 88 per cent highlighte­d the importance of improved telecoms infrastruc­ture.

Across MEA, 51 per cent of SMES said government­led initiative­s could have a positive impact in supporting their businesses.

The report said SMES in the region recognised the great potential of public-private partnershi­ps, and 63 per cent said PPPS would benefit businesses and the markets in which they operate.

“One in three SMES, about 32 per cent, think that collaborat­ing with government­s and businesses outside their markets could impact their growth. In Southern Africa this was especially pronounced, with over half, about 53 per cent agreeing,” it said.

The Senior Vice President, Core Products Middle East and Africa, Mastercard, Valerio Murta, said collaborat­ion between the public and private sectors would create a thriving environmen­t for SME’S.

Murta was quoted as saying, “The contributi­on of small businesses to regional economies is ultimately about much more than the immediate gains to livelihood­s – it’s also about the sustainabl­e developmen­t of an ecosystem that can advance inclusive growth and prosperity for all.

“This is why it’s so important that we prioritize public-private partnershi­ps for SME growth, and why we’re putting our technology, expertise and global network to work, helping to develop the infrastruc­ture to connect more people – and more small businesses.”

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