What’s Holding Back the Private Sector in MENA? Lessons from the Enterprise Survey

In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the development of a vibrant private sector is essential for delivering the inclusive growth that is needed to meet the needs and aspirations of the people. Though the formal private sector represents a relatively small part of these economies, it does have the potential to become a powerful driver of job creation and rising living standards. However, creating an environment conducive to private sector development depends on a detailed understanding of the key determinants of firm performance and the major challenges that firms face.

To this end, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the World Bank Group (WBG), have joined forces to obtain a common understanding of the constraints that the private sector in the region faces. “What’s holding back the private sector in MENA ? Lessons from the Enterprise Survey” is a joint report that presents this understanding.

The report is based on the MENA Enterprise Survey (MENA ES) fielded jointly by the EBRD, the EIB and the WB in eight economies in the region in 2013 and 2014 : Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia, the West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen. The survey provides detailed information on more than 6,000 private firms in the manufacturing and services sectors, investigating topics ranging from access to finance, employment and skills, trade, innovation and competitiveness, as well as more general impediments to business performance.

MENA ES infographic