In Libya, business support networks for entrepreneurs in general, and for youth entrepreneurs in particular, are weak. As a result, promising entrepreneurs in need of mentoring, access to finance, and improved general business acumen are failing to commercialize good ideas and to develop job-creating businesses at a time of heightened economic fragility in the country.Innovation and risk-taking suffer from lack of encouragement, infrastructure, and cultural restrictions. Women and youth in particular, face barriers to access to credit and market systems.
To address this, MEDA, in partnership with USAID, is establishing an SME (Small and Medium Enterprises) development program which will provide business-oriented youth with the capacity building training required to develop their businesses and take these to the next level. Women and youth owners of SMEs will develop and expand their businesses through training, coaching/mentorship, networking opportunities and buyer engagement. A matching grants fund will help propel the most promising businesses forward towards growth and job creation. The project also strives to partner with and help build nascent Libyan civil society organizations; a new possibility in post-Gadhafi Libya.
Project Quick Facts:
Goal: The goal of the project is to contribute to the growth of the Libyan non-oil private sector through strong, knowledgeable and competitive business women and youth who operate successful and job creating enterprises.
Reaching: 11,200 women and youth entrepreneurs with job creating opportunities
Funding: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Project length: 2012-2019