Governance in-country seminars

The EBESM Project and SBA Coordinators have conducted eight training seminars - one in each MED country - on a broad variety of subjects, chosen in accordance with the specific needs of each country’s SMEs policies.

These well-attended EBESM events touched on a comprehensive range of SBA principles and policies for SMEs promotion, and developed a number of actionable recommendations, in close collaboration with the participants, that the country could immediately implement to improve the implementation of selected SBA principles at national level.

The subjects of the proposals, Identified and requested in full coordination with Charter/SBA coordinators, clearly reflected the results and recommendations of the 2014 assessment.

They included some high priority and crucial SME economic drivers, such as:

  • Innovation (Algeria, Tunisia, Palestine);
  • Information on businesses and SME observatory (Morocco);
  • SMEs in green economy (Morocco, Egypt);
  • e-government for administrative simplification (Israel);
  • Improving enterprise skills (Algeria, Jordan);
  • Internationalisation of SMEs (Lebanon);
  • Supporting SMEs to benefits from the Euro-Mediterranean network and partnerships (Jordan).

The training seminars usually followed the presentation of the national evaluation results of SBA implementation, ensuring a high degree of media coverage and ministerial presence to the event in four of the eight countries, namely: Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Lebanon.

Overall, the training seminars drew over 550 participants, from both the public and private sectors, and civil society at large, including academia and NGOs.

These participative and informal sessions were well received and highly appreciated by stakeholders, as expressed by results of formal evaluation questionnaires (from participants) and by verbal and written feed-back. The seminars also allowed participants to interact as a team, bond with their counterparts, and create inter-institutional linkages.

Very concrete and tangible results may be summarised as follows:

  • High-level interaction, open discussion and a strong degree of consensus between different types of stakeholders (Enterprises, Private Sector, Public and State Institutions, Civil Society etc.);
  • Agreement, in each country, on the short-term and medium-term priority actions that can and should be accomplished for real progress on the implementation of the SBA principles;
  • The definition, with SBA coordinators, of the step-by-step plan for achieving the objectives in each country by implementing the actions plans.

To encourage collective or individual reflection and to allow deeper research, all experts and trainers participating in the national seminars presented a substantial corpus of high-level training and documentation (e.g. concept notes, relevant data sources, recent studies and reports in their areas of expertise) including a detailed bibliography. This information is readily available on the website as well.