Promoting job opportunities for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
Employment-oriented MSME Promotion Project
German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency
2018 to 2024
Products and expertise
Economic development and employment
Jordan’s economy is dominated by a strong public sector which has traditionally been the country’s largest employer, accounting for more than 40 per cent of the workforce. However, the sector has seen a massive decline in recruitment in recent years.
At the same time, while Jordan’s private sector provides opportunities for growth, innovation and employment, the density of micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) is considerably lower than in other higher middle-income countries. MSMEs often fail to compete with foreign companies, partly due to a lack of qualified personnel and because they have limited access to business development services. In addition, an inflexible legal framework makes it hard for MSMEs to establish themselves in the market. The situation of MSMEs in Jordan was further aggravated by the significant interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in supply chain disruptions and demand depression. As a result, the official unemployment rate reached a high of 23.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2022.
The opportunities for employment-oriented growth among MSMEs in Jordan have improved.
The “Employment-oriented MSME promotion” project aims to support Jordanian MSMEs in accordance with “Jordan 2025 – A National Vision and Strategy” and the “Jordan Economic Growth Plan 2018-2022”. It does so by focusing on food processing, information and communication technology (ICT) and tourism as sectors with considerable growth and employment potential.
The project supports the implementation of sectoral and market strategies to boost the prospects for MSMEs and the aforementioned sectors as a whole. By working with local partner organisations, the project also helps to develop sustainable mechanisms that improve access to financial and non-financial services for enterprises in Jordan. Through the strengthening of public-private dialogue platforms, the project also encourages the active involvement of relevant stakeholders and helps to identify and tackle barriers to employment-oriented MSME growth. Throughout its activities, the project places a particular focus on promoting the economic empowerment of women.
Last update: January 2023