Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

Sub-principle 1.A

Define national PSE goals through an inclusive process 


Why is it important?


A national PSE policy (either a stand-alone policy or a section in an overall development co-operation strategy) should inform what type of action the government is considering supporting, ideally targeting both formal and informal MSMEs in different regions. It will inform MSMEs on how they can benefit from these efforts. Public-private dialogue to underpin the development of the national PSE strategy can ensure that the government is responsive to MSMEs, giving them space to convey their priorities, concerns and value creation. It is important to hear MSMEs’ voices, as they create most employment in many countries, particularly in partner countries.

Self-reflection questions
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  • Are you, or a business association that represents your interests, aware if there is a national PSE strategy (either a stand-alone document or a section in an overall development co-operation strategy) and if there is an envisaged role for MSMEs in the foreseen development co-operation activities? 
  • If your country’s government does not have a PSE strategy, how can you, or a business association that represents your interests, be involved in and encourage its elaboration and/or defining PSE goals at the national and subnational level? 
  • Have you considered where you need support to engage in development co-operation activities from your national or subnational government, and by extension, possibly from your government’s development partners? Where do you see specific opportunities for your engagement in such activities?

Actions to consider
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  • Participate in national consultations. If capacity is a challenge, engage with business representatives such as associations, local chambers of commerce and others to ensure representation in consultations. 
  • Be vocal if the consultations with the private sector are not inclusive or transparent and you have not been well informed of ongoing policy developments or opportunities to access finance or partner with others.

Pitfalls to avoid
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  • Engage in dialogue to define national PSE goals alone without forging alliances or participating in associations that can support your inputs, an activity that can be time-consuming.
  • Engage in the process without understanding the policy-making process, preparing a targeted strategy or providing input. 
  • Let yourself be co-opted to satisfy the perception of dialogue and consultation.


In Egypt, the Center for International Private Enterprise has been supporting open and free dialogue between government, the private sector and civil society through a biannual National Dialogue retreat to work towards joint PSE goals (see Box 3).

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