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Gender, Small Enterprise and Business Development Services : Experience of Small Enterprise Development in Upper Egypt Project Presented at the SEEP Network General Meeting Washington DC, October 23, 2003 Presented by: Mazen Bouri Foundation for International Training

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Gender, Small Enterprise and Business Development Services:Experience of Small Enterprise Development in Upper Egypt Project

Presented at the SEEP Network General Meeting

Washington DC, October 23, 2003

Presented by:

Mazen Bouri

Foundation for International Training

small enterprise development in upper egypt project rationale and parameters
Small Enterprise Development in Upper Egypt:Project Rationale and Parameters
  • Selection of Governorates: poverty indicators, economic development, infrastructure
  • Emphasis on Business Start-Ups: many micro-enterprises but not small enterprises; need for job creation and labour intensive sectors
  • Comprehensive Approach Combining Credit and BDS: credit channelled through a banking partner; BDS through regional enterprise development centres
  • Creating New Institutions: lack of agencies that were providing advisory services for low-income new entrepreneurs at that time
  • Capacity Building: of partner institutions to design and deliver professional BDS and to incorporate development goals in their mandates
  • Priority Target Groups:unemployed women and youth
  • Integrating Cross Cutting Themes: gender equality; workplace health and safety; and the environment

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

small enterprise development in upper egypt
Small Enterprise Development in Upper Egypt
  • Project Goal: Improve the economic conditions of marginal population groups through supporting small business start-ups in three governorates in Upper Egypt
  • Project Objectives:
      • Institutional Development:The establishment of three Regional Enterprise Development Centers (REDECs)
      • Direct Delivery:The creation of 8000 new jobs through the establishment of 2000 new businesses with a loan fund of 30 million LE
  • Project Funding:
      • CIDA: 10.377 million Cdn $ for the institutional development, training, technical assistance, and management costs of the project
      • SFD: Up to 40 million LE in credit lines channeled through the National Bank of Egypt
  • Project Executed by : Foundation for International Training and partner agencies in Egypt

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

small enterprise development in upper egypt approach to gender equality
Small Enterprise Development in Upper EgyptApproach to Gender Equality
  • Gender Equality Component: To ensure that women are involved in all aspects of project management, monitoring, and outputs as both decision makers and clients.
  • From the outset, the project attempted to integrate gender equality at all levels as a cross-cutting theme and not merely a stand-alone component:
          • Project Level
          • Institutional Level
          • Women as Small Business Owners
          • Women as Small Business Workers
          • Working With External Stakeholders

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

integrating ge at the project level
Integrating GE at the Project Level
  • Setting quantifiable measurable targets: 50 % of businesses established to be women-owned and 40% of jobs created to be held by women
  • Sensitizing all staff of the importance of gender in poverty alleviation
  • Integrating gender in business development services: at the client selection and motivation, business planning, business implementation and counselling stages
  • Establishing a project-wide gender working group and gender focal points at each office: to share experiences, document case studies
  • Appointing an internal gender advocate among local senior management staff and one Canadian management staff as a gender advisor

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

integrating ge at the institutional level
Integrating GE at the Institutional Level
  • Hiring and promotionpolicies: women representation at all levels- business advisors and credit officers, middle management, administrative staff and senior staff
  • Administrative and financial policies: needs of employees with regards to maternity leave, flex time
  • Board Training: Selection and orientation of board members
  • Importance of indigenization for sustained impact

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

women as small business owners
Women as Small Business Owners
  • Client Motivation and Selection
  • Women as Actual not Protocol Owners: taking a Management Role in her business
  • Encouraging support of family members
  • Targeted training / skills transfer
  • Women-owned traditional businesses: trade outlets, hairdressers, bakeries, food processing, textiles
  • Promoting women-owned SMEs in new sectors: plastic production, cosmetics factory, pharmacy, optician, computer training center, business services, print shop.

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

women as small business workers
Women as Small Business Workers
  • Greatest number of women are employed in food-processing and textile industries but those are low-paying jobs with limited growth potential
  • Obstacles to women holding high-income jobs:
          • Skills Deficit: where is the mentor?
          • Lack of Experience: how can it be acquired
          • Work Conditions: evening shifts
          • Mobility: travel restrictions
          • Attitudinal and Perceptual barriers
  • Gender Division of Labour : case of sweet factory and ice cream production
  • Male-dominated industries:metal workshops, carpentry and woodwork, tiles manufacturing

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

influencing policy making
Influencing Policy Making
  • Working with government agencies at national and local levels
  • Working with local and national NGO networks
  • Sensitizing bank officials
  • Input to new policies / legislation
  • Seeking donor support and guidance

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

small enterprise development in upper egypt achievements as of june 30 2003
Small Enterprise Development in Upper EgyptAchievements as of June 30, 2003
  • Direct Delivery:
      • The creation of 5300 new jobs through the establishment of over 1400 new businesses with 37 million LE in bank loans disbursed. Some of the businesses created that are new to their regions are internet service providers, computer training centers, computer maintenance centers, as well as larger scale cosmetics and plastic factories.
      • 43% of all businesses established are owned by female entrepreneurs and more than a third of all jobs created are held by female workers.
  • Institutional Development:
      • The emergence of the three Regional Enterprise Development Centers as professional providers of business development services to small business start-ups and the establishment of El Mobadara as a national capacity building organization dedicated to small enterprise development throughout Egypt.
      • A variety of new donor-funded programs in SME and SME-related areas, such as worker advocacy and insurance, women’s empowerment, and child rights.

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

small enterprise development in upper egypt gender impact
Small Enterprise Development in Upper EgyptGender Impact
  • Quantifiable achievementsin terms of businesses established, jobs created, and income earned leads to:
          • Improved standard of living
          • Gaining managerial and technical skills
          • Upward mobility in marketplace
          • Practical Needs
  • Longer-term impact:on self-esteem, household decision making, awareness of citizen rights and responsibilities, community leadership roles → strategic interests
  • Long-term Impact is difficult to measure, longer time horizon, anecdotal evidence, requires additional resources

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

transition to bds market model the challenge
Transition to BDS Market Model:The Challenge
  • History of free service provision
  • Continuing public sector and donor supported subsidies
  • Blurring of distinction in practice between facilitator and provider roles
  • Lack of organization and standardization of BDS field
  • High cost of reaching marginalized groups
  • Labour intensive and costly to customize services for priority target groups
  • Most entrepreneurs have yet to recognize value of BDS – how will they then pay for costs of broader development goals such as gender equality?

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

transition to bds market model progress to date
Transition to BDS Market Model:Progress To Date
  • Moving from a comprehensive to flexible package of services: restructuring of services and new marketing message
  • Targeting start-ups as well as existing firms
  • Conducting market assessments for needs of businesses
  • Charging fees – linked to tangible results such as increased sales or completed regulatory requirement
  • Linking staff pay to revenue generation incentives
  • Linking with smaller / informal providers
  • Training and orientation of boards and regulatory agencies
  • Promoting women-owned and managed BDS providers

Foundation for International Training Egypt Gender and BDS

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THANK YOU!Mazen BouriProject DirectorFoundation for International Training7181 Woodbine Avenue Suite 110Markham Ontario L3R 1A3Tel: 905 305-8680 Ext. 225Fax: 905 305-8681Email: mazen@ffit.org