The State of SME Governance in Jordan – Debunking Myths

There is overwhelming consensus regarding the critical role that SMEs play in any economy, be it as a source of employment, innovation or as a driver of productivity and contributor to economic growth. In the MENA region, SMEs represent more than 80 percent of businesses, employing 70 percent of private sector workers. In Jordan, this percentage is lower, but remains significant at 52 percent of private sector employment.

This consensus has inevitably resulted in a wealth of literature and concurrent efforts by governments and other stakeholders to support the growth and resilience of SMEs. This includes facilitating access to finance, reforming the legislative and regulatory environment to accommodate the specific challenges facing SMEs, in addition to providing mentorship, capacity building and technical assistance programs. More recently, there developed a growing focus on the importance of SME governance as a key enabling factor to SME sustainability and success, and that where absent, significant challenges and outright failure may be expected.