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)
Co-funded by: European Union (EU)
Country: Morocco
Partner: MarocPME (Agence Nationale pour la Promotion des Petites et Moyennes Entreprises); CNEA (Comité Nationale de l’Environnement des Affaires); MEF (Ministère de l’Economie, des Finances et de la Réforme de l’Administration)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Industry, Trade and the Green and Digital Economy (MICEVN: Ministère de l’Industrie, du Commerce, de l’Économie Verte et Numérique)
Overall term: 2015 to 2020


High unemployment, under-employment and a very large unorganised sector are key challenges in Morocco. The Moroccan Government has therefore set itself the goal of forging ahead with economic policy reform processes to facilitate broad-based growth and create employment. In this context, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) play a key role. The Moroccan private sector consists of 98% MSMEs, which contribute about 40% to the gross domestic product (GDP). However, they are still far from exploiting their full growth and employment potential.


Improve public and private support services for Moroccan MSMEs.

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


The project aims to enhance the regulatory and economic framework for MSMEs. These also include the framework to improve access to funding. The project is also developing services and training formats for business networks and sectoral clusters that are especially adapted to MSMEs and which support companies in their focus on growth and employment.

The project collaborates with the Moroccan Ministry of Industry, Trade and the Green and Digital Economy (MICEVN). It is implementing various measures working in coordination with the National Agency for the Promotion of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MarocPME), the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) and the National Committee for the Business Environment (CNEA).

The project advised CNEA, among other things, on solutions for implementing online procedures for setting up businesses and on improving the legal framework for insolvency settlements. The reformed insolvency legislation was adopted in April 2018 and published in the official Government Gazette.

The project also helped simplify and digitalise five administrative procedures (such as processes for transferring ownership) in eight regions of Morocco. MarocPME was able, in cooperation with the project, to expand its support services for business networks: it developed training modules on entrepreneurial skills and financial management, which are now made digital in a ‘Virtual Academy’. Nucleus, a sectoral group advisory approach, completes the range of services. Currently, 36 business consultants are accredited by MarocPME.

A further element aimed at growth-oriented companies and start-ups is designed for developing ranges of services on technology transfer and innovation for three selected sectoral clusters – renewable energy, electrical engineering/mechatronics and agro-industry and cosmetics.

The project promotes MSMEs' access to suitable financial products by helping create and structure Business Angel networks (companies or individuals that provide financial resources and expertise to young businesses). Furthermore, the project has supported the preparation of a draft law on crowdfunding that has been submitted to the General Secretariat of the Government and prepared for a parliamentary vote.

Selected activities on green entrepreneurship, promoting the self-employed and supporting growth-orientated companies (via Business Angel networks, for example) are being implemented within the framework of a co-financing by the European Union.


In 2019, Morocco improved by seven places in the ranking of the World Bank’s Doing Business Report and currently ranks 53rd out of 190 countries.

Since 2017, 6,584 MSMEs, self-employed entrepreneurs and business founders (43% of whom were women) have received support and training. Of these, 654 MSMEs have organised themselves in a total of approximately 45 “Nucleus” advisory groups. This created 3,573 jobs during 2017–2018, including 1,387 permanent jobs.

In addition, the project has assisted in developing and implementing a National Strategy for Financial Inclusion. The National Council for Financial Inclusion adopted proposals agreed by MEF and Bank Al-Maghrib in April 2019.

In 2018, the MEF, with the support of the project, also published a manual on public financial products aimed at MSMEs, self-employed entrepreneurs and business founders and is now being produced digitally. This helps them to make informed decisions about the best financing opportunities for their companies.

Training for seamstresses © GIZ / Markus Kirchgessner

Additional information