The Trade and Competitiveness Programme is implemented by the EBRD and financed by the European Union (EU). The EBRD works with small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) operating in various value chains in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia to support their competitiveness and growth by strengthening product quality and adding value, improving standards and creating an enabling environment for exports. Working with aggregators under the Programme can drive the value chain towards improvements and can help its SME suppliers to become more competitive.
In all four economies export plays a significant role and there is high potential to boost trade through improved competitiveness of local economies, especially SMEs. However, there are very few SMEs that develop inter-firm linkages with strong local or foreign –owned aggregators translating into the bulk of small companies serving highly localised markets. The programme supports SMEs to implement higher standards through a value chain approach.
The Programme provides eligible companies with access to investment grants and advisory services in a range of industries, including agribusiness, manufacturing and services, logistics and distribution, and information and communication technologies.
For companies directly financed by the EBRD, the Programme provides Investment Grants for the companies’ capex investments. These grants can be accessed by SMEs that meet a set of specific criteria.
Under the Programme, eligible SMEs can also access advisory services to upgrade quality standards and improve processes across all areas of business operation, including strategy, sales and marketing, exports, finance and accounting, and other.
Advisory services are tailored to the specific needs of each business and can include both individual coaching and group training. This programme can be accessed by small businesses, which either receive EBRD financing or supply products or services to larger EBRD financing clients.