AfDB - EMRC SME Forum Bridging the Missing Middle Gap in Africa

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From: 06/06/2011
To: 07/06/2011
Location: Lisbon, Portugal

The African Development Bank (AfDB) in collaboration with EMRC will organize an SME Forum at the margins of the Bank’s Annual Meetings to be held in Lisbon, Portugal from 6-7 June 2011.  

The title of the Event is: “Bridging the missing middle gap in Africa”. In financial market terminology, the missing middle also refers to the gap between microfinance at one end and traditional institutional financing at the other.  

The goal of the Forum will be to focus attention on the gap in capital and other forms of support for the Missing Middle in Sub Saharan Africa.  

Best practices of banks, venture funds, other financial intermediaries as well as SME non-financial support institutions will be showcased in an effort to accelerate commitments to this very important enterprise segment.

The Missing Middle presents an unparallel opportunity for investors to achieve competitive financial returns and social impact. Many financial experts believe that after micro finance, addressing and closing this funding gap is the next stage of financial market development.

The objective of the Forum is to:

  • Increase growth and the flow of financing and non financial support to this important segment of the business Community.
  • Identify opportunities for AfDB and its partners to effectively support the Missing Middle in Africa.

The AfDB – EMRC SME Forum focuses on increasing the growth and flow of the financial and non-financial support to SMEs. The Forum will establish opportunities for the African Development Bank and its partners to support this sector with key industry players discussing policies and strategies to move the sector forward.

Known as the Missing Middle, the growth of the SME sector in developing countries is hampered by a lack of access to finance, lagging far behind high-income countries whose SMEs bring in over 50% of the national GDP. An estimated 95% of businesses in Africa are MSMEs (micro, small and medium-sized enterprises) and there is enormous scope for development in Africa with the continent’s abundant resources.

As part of the Bank’s policy in promoting private sector development in Africa, the private sector department on behalf of the Bank in 2009, sponsored the project incubator award at the EMRC – Africa Finance Investment Forum Event, held in Amsterdam, Holland.

Please find a link of an interview of the winner of the 2009 EMRC-AfDB Project Incubator Award:

The AfDB attaches great importance to the development of the Missing Middle SMEs in Africa. The Annual Meetings of the AfDB provides an excellent venue to discuss support to this crucial target group.

EMRC is an International Association composed of a network of entrepreneurs, financiers, consultants and officials based throughout the world. EMRC's mission is to lead the private sector in Africa to sustainable economic development.


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