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Regional development


“In today's global economy, metropolitan regions are the center of growth and the locus of innovation. Every region now faces the challenge of establishing and sustaining its position in the global marketplace. To succeed in the global economy every region and its public and private leaders must:
- Build Prosperity: Understand international markets, the structure and position of their economy, and take steps to increase competitiveness
- Reduce Disparity: Understand the economic, social, geographic and participatory "fairness" of their communities and take steps to ensure improved equity
- Increase Sustainability: Understand the environmental and growth challenges facing the region and how best to manage them in a "smart manner"
- Strengthen Agility: Understand how information and communications technology can be used to redefine and improve the delivery of public and private services” (ICF International).

Within this framework Euromed provides expertise on the following three key-sectors of regional economic development: Clustering, SME development and Micro-financing.

Clustering


Economic clustering is the essential strategic tool of regional development
‘In recent years, "cluster strategies" have become a popular economic development approach among state and local policymakers and economic development practitioners. An industry cluster is a group of firms, and related economic actors and institutions, that are located near one another and that draw productive advantage from their mutual proximity and connections. Cluster analysis can help diagnose a region's economic strengths and challenges and identify realistic ways to shape the region's economic future.’ (The Brooking Institution).

SME development


SME development is the grassroots tool of regional Economic development.
‘SMEs present unique challenges: their need for access to capital and capacity building services is great, and they are strongly affected by business climate, infrastructure, and regulatory constraints. IFC addresses these challenges in many different ways every day. In one country it means training local banks in how to lend to SMEs profitably. In another it involves helping more small and mid-size contractors tap into the procurement opportunities of a large foreign investment project. It also means bringing the voice of small business into the policy debate so that entrepreneurs can see the reform process start to give them a freer hand in creating jobs.
It is working when we see expanding market access and increasing revenues for local SMEs leading to improved living conditions in local communities. It is working when SMEs grow stronger in key business functions such as marketing, finance and accounting, human resource management, and other areas. And it is working when reductions in red tape improve the business climate, for example making it easier for smaller companies to register with the government and become part of the tax-paying formal economy.’ (MANAGING DIRECTOR World Bank, Peter Woicke) 

Micro-financing


‘To most, microfinance means providing very poor families with very small loans (microcredit) to help them engage in productive activities or grow their tiny businesses. Over time, microfinance has come to include a broader range of services (credit, savings, insurance, etc.) as we have come to realize that the poor and the very poor who lack access to traditional formal financial institutions require a variety of financial products.
Microfinance clients are typically self-employed, often household-based entrepreneurs. In rural areas, they are usually small farmers and others who are engaged in small income-generating activities such as food processing and petty trade. In urban areas, microfinance activities are more diverse and include shopkeepers, service providers, artisans, street vendors, etc. Microfinance clients are poor and vulnerable non-poor who have a relatively stable source of income.’ (The Microfinance Gateway)

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