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SME Financing in MENA: A Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis of Multilateral and Bilateral Development Lenders’ Intermediated Lending Practices

Barthelmess Benedikt () and Langlois Jean
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Langlois Jean: Non-Resident Fellow, Research Center in Applied Economics for Development, Algiers, Algeria

Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, 2020, vol. 16, issue 3, 032

Abstract: This paper documents for the first time the considerable increase of bilateral and multilateral financial institutions’ support to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), following the political unrest and civil strife across the region since 2011. Focusing upon intermediated lending, the main financing channel, it assesses the underlying economic logic and implementation of this kind of SME financing. It is found that SMEs’ contribution to economic development is insufficiently well understood and, to some extent, has been misinterpreted, which implies that development banks’ lending operations lack appropriate targeting to achieve economic and social lending objectives. A review of the academic literature on financial exclusion and development finance, moreover, concludes that the lenders’ reliance upon large, often foreign-owned, commercial banks is not likely to achieve the desired developmental impact.

Keywords: development bank; job creation; innovation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1515/rmeef-2020-0013

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