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After the Arab revolutions of 2011, multilateral institutions in the Middle East and North Africa began to show greater interest in the promotion of small and medium-sized enterprises as a means to inclusive development -- the scarcity of which had contributed greatly to the uprisings.Since SMEs were so pivotal to economic success stories elsewhere -- in East Asia, for instance -- it stood to reason that their promotion would have the same effect in the Arab world.Before the region can develop the SME sector to its full potential, it needs to be enable its micro-enterprises to grow.In a 2017 study by the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies, microenterprises with fewer than four or 10 employees, depending on the definition adopted in each country, constitute approximately 91 percent of all privately owned firms in Egypt, 89 percent in Jordan, 98 percent in Tunisia and Morocco.Egypt, the most populated Arab country with around 100 million people, is a case in point. SMEs made up around 4 percent of all enterprises in Egypt in 2006, compared with 51.7 percent in Malaysia for example. This makes such establishments hard to target with development interventions.
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