Micro and Small Enterprise Surveys (MSEs) - Economic Research Forum (ERF)

Micro and Small Enterprise Surveys (MSEs)

Micro and Small Enterprise Surveys (MSEs)

ERF has launched the database of the project on Promoting Competitiveness on Micro and Small Enterprises in the MENA Region. The database is the result of a unique field survey performed on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in four countries of the MENA region: Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Turkey.

This database consists of information on households and enterprises gathered from 5,000 questionnaires that were filled by MSEs in the selected countries (only 3000 in the case of Lebanon). The surveys were undertaken between 2002 and 2004 in the above mentioned four counties and – except in the case of Lebanon – received follow-up surveys one year later to monitor the dynamics of the sector and highlight its progress.

This research greatly expands the knowledge pool for this subject and ERF is grateful to the team that worked on the MSE project: Alia El Mahdi (Cairo University, Egypt), Kamal Hamdan (Consultation & Research Institute, Lebanon), Bachir Hamdouch (University of Mohamed V, Morocco), Semsa Ozar (Bogazici University, Turkey) and the project director: Nader Fergany (Almishkat Center for Research and Training).

ERF also acknowledges the work that has been done by the project’s Advisory Committee, specially: Jacques Charmes (ORSTOM, France); Donald Mead (Michigan University, USA) and Ferhad Mehran (ILO, Switzerland).

The financial support of the European Commission (through the FEMISE 2 project), the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, the IDRC Canada and the USAID Egypt is gratefully acknowledged.

Constraints facing the Development of Micro and Small Enterprises (CDMSE)

This survey field data was collected, from rural governorates in Egypt, on Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) in the context of a project, funded by ERF, on “The Nexus between Informal Credit and Informal Labor for MSEs in Egypt”.

MSEs in Egypt still rely heavily on informal credit. They also rely on informal labor to a great extent. In the meantime, MSEs’ access to formal finance has been facing increasing restrictions, due to adopting more cautious lending strategies by both public and private banks.

This project aims, through the collected dataset, at examining the relationship between informal credit and the formalization of MSEs, in general, and, in particular, their employment characteristics. To do that, it attempts to find out what effect informal credit has on the performance, risk and return to capital of MSEs and how it affects the employment profile and the use of informal labor. It also looks into whether informal credit provides a disincentive for the formalization of MSEs and whether the sources of informal credit have different effects on the formalization of MSEs.

The survey was tested in several governorates, but was eventually implemented in the Gharbeya and Bani Suef governorates. Administering the survey was often interrupted because of security reasons.
You can Access our Micro Data sets, through the

ERF Micro Data Catalogue (NADA)


For any inquiries related to the data, please contact:
ERF data team
Email: erfdataportal@erf.org.eg