Sana’a (GPA) – A preparatory workshop was launched today in the capital city of Sana’a, kicking off the first phase of the institutional strengthening project by Small Enterprises Development Fund (SEDF) in Yemen.

Dr. Ibrahim Yahya Shaiban, Chairman of Small Enterprises Development Fund (SEDF), inaugurates a preparatory workshop for the first phase of the institutional strengthening project by SEFD, on the International Day for the Development of Small Enterprises 28 June 2020

The workshop comes within the framework of the projects of SEFD to restore its work and lead the transition from reaction to action, as well as within the framework of the campaign the SEFD projects that aim to develop markets and build value chains for national products belonging to various sectors, particularly the agricultural, fish, industrial and service sectors.

This also comes within the framework of the public opinion of the state that aims to support and operationalize the productive sectors in Yemen, up to the stage of sustainable growth, in which the application of best business practices becomes an organizational behavior and a collective commitment to the SEFD staff members.

Such practices and commitment will, in turn, play a pivotal role in activating the productive sectors by advocating for policies related to the providing of government support to the private sector, entrepreneurs and initiatives, which are carried out in partnership with the members of the National Working Group of SEFD being the body that is responsible for developing public policies for the microfinance sector and for expanding its funding base and support services for the private sector and the entrepreneurs altogether.

Eighteen staff members from the SEFD management and executive board participate in the workshop, in addition to 12 consultants from the Business Development Center, the SEFD partner in the institutional strengthening work.

During the inaugural, the SEFD Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dr. Ibrahim Shaiban, pointed out the importance of the project in building institutional capacity, increasing effectiveness, restoring the SEFD work, and working with a modern, wise vision.

“Such vision addresses the imbalances and helps direct those funds that are allocated to support the private sector and microfinance through the rationalizing of the loan and financing process for market development and for building value chains for Yemeni products, supporting exports, improving the business environment, facilitating the start-up process and providing support services for those wishing to invest in small and micro projects, as well as accommodating grants earmarked for humanitarian assistance in empowering those in economic need, instead of turning productive families and farmers into beggars waiting for humanitarian aid and food baskets.”

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The Operations Director at the Business Development Center, Mr. Ali Sherwan, pointed out that the aim of the institutional strengthening project is to verify the existence of the required programmatic and administrative standards at SEFD, in order to ensure that its work is efficient and sustainable, and on the right path that makes it qualified legally, institutionally.

“This will come alongside our commitment to adopt innovative policies and work systems that achieve success in all stages of the SEFD growth, from birth through the stage of growth to maturity according to a sustainable business growth plan.”

Mr. Sherwan also added:

“We will cooperate with the SEFD executive body to make prepared to lead the transition from reaction to action by identifying opportunities (possible and not possible), prioritizing and working on realistic analysis of critical reactions, as well as managing organizational culture, so that they can predict and build scenarios and design strategies and tools to solve problems and identify performance gaps. Then comes the consent on the levels of measurable goals (short-term/medium-term/long-term goals) and the adoption of a common commitment framework with the SEFD executive body.”

The participants said the SEFD institutional strengthening project, whose implementation phase started in the beginning of April 2020, will end on February 28, 2021.

This project’s first stages have been completed, which included the preparation and planning stages during the past three months of 2020.

The SEFD Chairperson, Dr. Ibrahim Shaiban, said:

“There is a great interest of the state in the private sector as the government has sought to approve the incentives and forms of government support provided to the private sector, such as the recent decisions, tax exemptions and exemptions on production inputs for a number of goods and products that are related to operationalizing the productive sectors in the country to turn the wheel of the Yemeni economy during the most difficult circumstances as a matter of confronting the challenges and risks facing our country’s economy, in light of the difficult circumstances facing the business sector in Yemen.”

Dr. Shaiban emphasized on the great interest of the state and the development partners in providing possible incentives to stimulate the economic process.

He also stressed on the need for reaching those groups that urgently need to benefit from the financial services, the financing products and the government support provided for production inputs and support service projects related to the value chain of the Yemeni agricultural, fishery and industrial products, in accordance with the vision of leading the transition from the culture of consumption to the agricultural & industrial production.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by the members of the SEFD executive body and members on the advisory team from the Business Development Center.

This preparatory workshop for the first phase of the project will last until Tuesday 30 June.

Featured photo: A suk (market) in Yemen’s Old Sana’a (Flickr|Flickr: Rod Waddington)