Promotion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises

Programme description

Title: Promotion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Morocco
Lead executing agency: Ministère de l’Industrie, du Commerce, de l’Investissement et de l’Economie Numérique (MICIEN)
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

Workshop on inclusive growth in Morocco © GIZ / Markus Kirchgessner


The high level of unemployment, particularly among young people, is a major challenge in Morocco. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) constitute 98 per cent of the private sector in Morocco and generate around 40 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP). However, they are nowhere near realising their full growth and employment potential. Economic reforms, the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises and start-up businesses as well as access to funding are required to create an enabling environment for inclusive growth with a positive impact on employment.


Public services, offers of state and private support and financial services for Moroccan MSMEs have improved.

Image description: On-the-job training © GIZ / Markus Kirchgessner


The project team supports private and public institutions, such as the National Council for the Business Environment, in improving regulatory conditions. The National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises already provides training and advisory services for small and medium-sized enterprises. Working with the Agency, the project team standardises the services offered and tailors them to the needs of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. The partners certify trainers and advisors and set up a nationwide training and advisory programme for MSMEs. The Agency evaluates the impact of the services available on the private sector with the help of the project.

In order to facilitate access for small and medium-sized enterprises to financial services, the project advises the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Together with the Ministry, the project team devises a national financial inclusion strategy. In addition, new financing instruments are developed, for instance the concept of ‘business angels’. These are companies or private individuals who make financial support, knowledge and their contacts available to a Moroccan enterprise. The project also focuses on instruments such as crowd funding, where a large number of people invest in promising businesses via an internet platform. These options for raising funds make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as start-up businesses to access financial services. In parallel, the partners and the project team work on expanding the range of financial training courses for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The consulting firm GFA supports the implementation of the project.


As a result of cooperation under the predecessor project, the Moroccan Government elaborated the national strategy for promoting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. It introduced the auto-entrepreneur statute, which paves the way for self-employed persons to formally set up businesses and gives them their own legal status. By mid-2016, more than 30,000 self-employed persons had registered as auto-entrepreneurs, thus becoming eligible for various forms of government support.

The predecessor project tested training and advisory products together with the National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises. Based on the results of these trial runs, the Agency decided to offer business start-up and management training for MSMEs using the CEFE methodology. CEFE – Competency based Economies through Formation of Entrepreneurs – is a tried-and-tested concept for promoting business start-ups. It is a modular training concept designed to enhance the entrepreneurial and commercial skills and key qualifications of individuals starting up or running businesses. In addition, the Agency is responsible for the Nucleus Approach (NAWAT), which brings together different companies working in the same sector for mutual exchange on challenges, questions and lessons learned. A consultant assists and advises the group. Solutions and new ideas emerge in the course of this cooperation. A network of certified trainers and advisors as well as service providers with government or private accreditation make their know-how available nationwide. The project supports the Agency in all of these steps, also helping it to establish a system to monitor the results of this work. By the end of 2016, around 160 certified trainers and advisors were available and the first 400 entrepreneurs and self-employed persons had taken part in training.

It has been demonstrated that entrepreneurs solve problems together at the regular, facilitated Nucleus meetings, which enables them to increase their productivity and create jobs as a result. Female entrepreneurs benefit from the specially designed advisory programme Entre Elles, which provides a forum for exchange exclusively among female business owners. The women have improved operations within their businesses, enhanced their management skills and increased their income. The National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises will continue to provide these advisory services in future.

Training for seamstresses © GIZ / Markus Kirchgessner