The purpose of this study is to put a spotlight on some of the problems of access to finance that stand in the way of small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt and to draw the attention of policy makers to try to solve those issues. These problems vary from financial issues such as getting access to money to non-financial shortcomings in such areas as knowhow, marketing, management and accounting systems. Furthermore, SMEs in Egypt suffer from complex governmental regulations as well. To address the overall research question, “how do informal areas SMEs meet their financing needs and why do they make these choices,” the study used interviews and a written questionnaire both conducted with SME owners in the informal area of Imbaba in Giza. The study found that a large majority of SMEs have never used formal financial institutions due to lack of knowledge about how to deal with banks and the banks’ complicated procedures. A minority of those surveyed did use bank loans but suffered great difficulty in dealing with the system, repaying the loan, and dealing with high interest rates. The field work was complemented by a review of the literature, which found that banks' regulations and minimum loan size discourages SME owners from trying to obtain bank finance. Many interviewees expressed their anger at the complex and seemingly purposeless documentation required to obtain loans. Cut off from formal funding, most of the workshop owners interviewed depends on their social ties for financing, borrowing money from relatives and friends or participating in rotating credit associations. The study recommends that greater efforts be made by the government to ease regulations on starting a business. Banks should more aggressively pursue SME business, visiting shops and working with the owners to remove barriers to credit. NGOs should give assistance to shops facing difficulties in repayment to address the causes of their problems. If greater efforts are not made by the government and others to improve access to finance, SMEs will not be able to grow as quickly, with negative impacts on the Egyptian economy and on societal problems such as unemployment.


Public Policy & Administration Department

Degree Name

MA in Public Administration

Graduation Date


Submission Date

February 2014

First Advisor

Bremer, Jennifer

Committee Member 1

Metwally, Elham

Committee Member 2

Abdel Halim, Khaled


79 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Fince -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Small business -- Egypt.


The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Approval has been obtained for this item


AUC scholarship