The Small Business Act is still pending

CGEM has long demanded, the business world has not lost hope of seeing the famous “Small Business Act” implemented. This project to overhaul the legal and institutional framework of the TPME, promised by former Kingdom treasurer Mohamed Benchaâboun for the year 2020, is coming up again. While we assume he is buried or in any case on stand-by, here is Younes Sekkouri, Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills, again serving him, yesterday, at the Two-day regional conference in Rabat in “The future of employment and the role of entrepreneurship and SME” in North Africa, organized by the AfDB Group and the Moroccan Ministry. We learned that the government is still working on this project, but there is no indication that it will soon see the end of the tunnel.

Identify immediate solutions to support very small and medium sized businesses (TPME). This is the ambition of the high-level conference organized on June 7 and 8 in Rabat with the theme “The future of employment and the role of entrepreneurship and VSMEs” in North Africa. An initiative of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) and the Moroccan Ministry of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills. It is for participants in this high mass to define an overall roadmap to accelerate recovery after Covid by creating investment opportunities by promoting very small and medium sized businesses. If Morocco has a relatively diversified entrepreneurship ecosystem, it is clear that this ecosystem still needs accompaniment and support. “The government knows that the notion of entrepreneurship must go beyond its definition of being limited to job creation to be a way for young people to free themselves from the weight of the hierarchy in an egalitarian logic”, the Minister said. Younes Sekkouri.

And remember that 14% of VSMEs become livelihood businesses, while 40% of them will lose business in the first two years of their lives. How can these structures be promoted? Mr. Sekkouri released the famous “Small Business Act” that the economic world has been waiting for since it was announced by Mohamed Benchaâboun, the former treasurer of the Kingdom. It will be launched in 2020. So Mr. Sekkouri indicated that it is a strategic framework that will bring together all the actions, initiatives and assistance and support systems for VSMEs. “This is a new integrated vision that will strengthen the fabric of VSMEs, promote their development and overcome the barriers they face,” the Minister said. Without providing further details, Mr. Sekkouri indicated that this new approach would need to create new forms of financing, a reengineering of the support process and provide new roles to the Regional Councils involved in supporting the these structures. It will also be a question of mobilizing part of public contracts in favor of young entrepreneurs.

Support for VSMEs is of great importance, as also underlined by the Minister of Economy and Finance, Nadia Fettah Alaoui. “Funding is certainly a challenge, but the support and training of young entrepreneurs in soft skills remains the main axis for strengthening the company’s stability”, the Kingdom treasurer said. An opinion shared by the Tunisian Minister of Employment and Vocational Training emphasizing the need to simplify procedures and formality. Senior government officials also called for the adoption of a holistic approach based on strengthening cooperation between all partners involved in this ecosystem. As a reminder, CGEM has been calling for the Small Business Act for many years. The latter is well-known in the White Paper it made public in October (www.lematin.ma).

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