Magharebia, by Hassan Benmehdi (Casablanca, Morocco, June 6, 2013) — Even though micro-enterprises make up more 80% of the Moroccan economy, they have had little support from the government.
Morocco last month announced a national strategy to give very small businesses financial incentives and bring them into the economic mainstream. The country’s first international forum on very small businesses (FITPE) soon followed in Casablanca.
Supporting very small businesses (TPEs) is a priority for the government, Minister-Delegate for General Affairs and Governance Mohamed Najib Boulif said at the new programme’s Rabat launch event on May 17th.
“The national strategy to promote very small businesses aims to rectify failings, create added value and achieve economic and social inclusion,” Boulif told Magharebia.
Despite the capacity of very small businesses to create jobs and reduce poverty, ignorance about their potential has impeded their integration into the formal economy.
“Economic development will achieve nothing unless we have a truly inclusive economy, of which very small businesses form the core,” Moroccan Student Foundation President Hamid Benlafdil said.
As General Confederation of Moroccan Businesses (CGEM) head, Meriem Bensalah-Chaqroun noted at the Rabat event, the government must encourage the growth of this key component of the country’s economy.
The government will soon deploy a tax system that offers incentives and new financing mechanisms for very small businesses, State Minister Abdellah Baha said.
The strategy looks to reduce the tax rate for small businesses by 50%, encourage hiring through the exemption of wages, and promote an ultra-simple system for accounting and reporting revenue.
The government will also smooth social security registration procedures and set up local support services to assist and advise very small businesses.
And to make it easier for micro-entrepreneurs to access loans, the government signed an agreement with banks. The accord calls for the development of financing tools specially adapted to small businesses.
Professional Association of Moroccan Banks (GPBM) Deputy Vice-President Mohamed El Kettani, who also heads Attijariwafa Bank, confirmed his sector’s readiness to implement the new measures.
Moroccan banks are already equipped with enough human resources and business strategies to understand the financial needs of micro-enterprises, El Kettani said.
According to Employment Minister Abdelouahed Suhail, these new measures will facilitate the integration of TPEs into the national socio-economic fabric.