Facilitating improved finance for small and medium-sized enterprises

Alternative approaches to financial inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)

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  • Commissioning Party

    German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)

  • Lead executing agency


  • Overall term

    2020 to 2024

  • Products and expertise

    Economic development and employment

A man pays with his mobile phone in a café by using it to scan a QR code.


In the Palestinian territories, 99 per cent of all companies have fewer than 20 employees. These small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) create jobs and income, but they have insufficient access to financing.

There are various reasons for this. On the demand side, there is a lack of knowledge about and confidence in financial products and their providers. On the supply side, there are almost no alternatives to bank loans, such as share-based crowdfunding, due to a lack of regulations. For start-ups and SMEs, it is therefore more difficult and expensive to obtain financing.

To utilise the potential of innovative financial services, known as fintech, for the wider population, the government, regulators and private companies agreed a national strategy for financial inclusion in 2018.


The framework conditions for financial services for small and medium-sized enterprises and start-ups have improved.


The project works in three fields of activity to improve the financial inclusion of SMEs and start-up companies:

1. It provides information for companies and start-ups. It supports the Palestinian financial authorities in developing social media posts, training courses and other formats on financial topics. This involves multipliers such as influencers, incubators, accelerators and academics.

2. The project improves the framework conditions for new fintech services, thus creating incentives for innovation. It advises the regulatory authorities and provides them with further training on innovations and rollouts. The project has also been working with the World Bank since 2021.

3. The project promotes dialogue between the private sector, state agencies and civil society, and supports viable concepts and rollouts. The project provides platforms and mentoring programmes, legal advice, studies and other measures.

The project also undertakes activities aimed particularly at women entrepreneurs, business founders, freelancers and managers of MSMEs.

A woman pays with a digital wallet in a shop. She scans a QR code with her phone.

Last update: Februar 2023

Additional information