SMEs are a major source of new job creation in emerging and developing countries. In the MENA region, it is estimated that micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for 80–90 percent of all businesses. However, despite their systemic importance, SMEs continue to face major challenges when it comes to access to finance. Lack of credit information and lack of collateral are just two of the many reasons why financial institutions are less exposed to SMEs than to larger and more established firms.
COVID-19 has made the situation much worse for the region’s SMEs. The pandemic poses challenges of a scope and scale unprecedented in modern times. Millions of businesses are closed, countless jobs have been lost. The hardest hit are SMEs in the tourism and entertainment industries; which have been battered by lockdowns and travel restrictions. In response to the crisis, many governments across the region have scaled up credit guarantee schemes to tackle the urgent liquidity problem faced by SMEs and to stimulate economic recovery through rebuilding the SME sector.
In partnership with the SME Finance Forum, Kafalah is hosting a MENA regional conference on the role of credit guarantee schemes in rebuilding the SMEs post-COVID-19.
The conference will convene leading credit guarantee experts and practitioners from the MENA region and beyond, alongside SME finance specialists and industry professionals.
The conference will take place on September 6-7 2021. During the two half-day event we will discuss how credit guarantee schemes can meet those challenges and contribute to rebuilding SMEs post-COVID-19. More specifically, Individual sessions will tackle: alternative data, early-stage financing, and equity guarantees, the digitization of credit guarantee institutions, and the specific challenges of funding for sectors especially affected by the pandemic: including tourism, supply chains, and technology.
All times expressed in KSA time