MENA-OECD Government-Business Summit

Mar 31st | 12:20 pm - 01:30 pm

Social resilience: moving away from informality to formal employment and businesses



Employment in the informal economy is a major source of livelihoods in several countries across the MENA region, especially for women and youth. The informal economy is composed of informal workers either self-employed or employed by business units, vastly micro businesses with few employees, operating with limited or no compliance with business, labour and other government regulations and laws. Although informality also reflects many forms of entrepreneurship, the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted several of its shortcomings. People working informally have been at greater economic and health risk as a result of the crisis; whereas few informal businesses have been able to benefit from government support measures. In the MENA region, women in informal employment are likely to work in vulnerable sectors (e.g. household domestic employment, family farming). The discussion will identify concrete and innovative actions to promote formal entrepreneurship and the integration of people and firms into the formal economy, and to remove barriers holding back women’s ability to set up a business. Emphasis is also placed on the implications for a post-Covid-19 world, with increasing use of digital technologies and the role of entrepreneurship in recovering the loss of some economic activities.

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