Micro & Small enterprise system

Micro & Small enterprise (MSE) system

Increasing incomes by reducing barriers to business entry and growth and stimulating innovation

Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) are key drivers of income generation and job creation in Addis Ababa, particularly as wage employment opportunities are unable to keep pace with the burgeoning labour supply. However, despite government strategies and initiatives to support MSE start-up and growth, MSEs continue to be constrained by several factors. Women and youth experience even greater constraints with respect to business start-up and growth due to factors such as societal expectations, domestic responsibilities, weak social networks, and lack of access to resources.

Critical Constraints

We identified critical constraints with the greatest potential for sustainable change and impact at scale

Limited access to appropriate and affordable operational space for MSEs to produce and promote products

Lack of access to finance due to financial products and requirements that do not meet the needs and realities of many MSEs

Lack of quality, up-to-date business-related information and networks suited to MSEs

Rules and regulations that are unconducive to MSE start-up and growth

Intervention Focus areas

We are focused on the following intervention areas to address the critical constraints

Availability of accessible and affordable physical and online spaces for MSE production and trade such as shared workspaces, physical bazaars, and digital platforms

New financial products and requirements suited to MSEs, including new credit, savings, and digital finance offerings, and new forms of collateral

Availability and relevance of business-related information for MSEs to help start and grow businesses

Value chain partnership to create new business opportunities, ensure consistent product supply and prices, and provide access to goods on credit

Policy and regulation reform to create an enabling environment for MSEs

System Lead: SNV

Other focus systems

Labour System

Improving access to better paying wage employment

Medium & large
enterprise (mle)

Reducing barriers to business entry and growth and stimulating innovation


Improving skills development to unlock wage and self-employment opportunities