The Egyptian Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Association and World Association for Small and Medium Enterprises (WASME) will sign a cooperation protocol before the end of January to support the owners of SMEs in Egypt, according to Khaled Nagaty, head of the Egyptian SMEs Association and vice president of WASME.
Nagaty said that the cooperation between both parties aims to benefit from the training academy affiliated to WASME to serve the owners and those responsible for operating these businesses.
The Egyptian SMEs Association held a press conference last week to announce reviving its activities after it stopped working for a number of years, and its working plan in the next period. The announcement came after its board was reformed.
During the conference, Nagaty said that the Egyptian SMEs Association aims to support the owners of the medium, small, very small, and micro enterprises, as well as young graduates.
Merging the informal economy with the formal one comes as one of the association’s major goals which it is seeking to achieve in the next period, according to Nagaty, saying that he asked to hold a meeting with the minister of finance to discuss how to achieve that and the role of the Egyptian SMEs Association in that regard.
A tax exemption of at least three years has to be granted to the owners of these businesses, and financing programmes at low interest rates have to be allocated to any programme switching from the informal economy to the formal one, in order to encourage them to make that move, said Nagaty.
He added that the Egyptian SMEs Association also seeks to train youth and university graduates who want to start small enterprises, saying that the training includes administrative training for the owners and technical training for the workers.
According to Nagaty, the Egyptian SMEs Association is currently involved in talks with the Leadership and Management Development Center, other associations, and international bodies with representation in Egypt to carry out the training.
In another context, Galal Khamis, general secretary of the Egyptian SMEs Association, announced the launch of a contest to choose 10 new projects that are able to be applied, saying that all the projects that will be presented will be reviewed by a specialised committee.
Khamis said that the Egyptian SMEs Association will showcase the winning projects in front of the financing bodies after completing all the procedures and preparing the studies and documents needed for the financing. He also said that Metropolitan Egypt for consulting, the credit consultant of the Egyptian SMEs Association, in conducting feasibility studies for the winning projects.
He added that the Egyptian SMEs Association will receive applications from 10 to 30 January through its website.