Scaling Up Ecosystems for Small Businesses in the Democratic Republic of Congo : Analysis Based on Data from Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, Matadi, and Goma


Micro, small, and medium-sized
enterprises (MSMEs) dominate the private sector of the
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and can serve as an
engine of growth and job opportunities for the country. To
support the growth of MSMEs and increase employment and
entrepreneurship opportunities, the DRC government prepared
a SME Development and Growth Project with support and
funding from the World Bank Group (WBG). To better
understand the challenges particular segments of MSMEs face,
WBG with support from the competitive industries and
innovation program (CIIP) conducted a MSME ecosystem
analysis in four project locations in the DRC: Kinshasa,
Goma, Lubumbashi, and Matadi. The study leveraged a diverse
range of data collection channels and methods to capture
deep, detailed, and meaningful insights on formal and
informal MSMEs in the DRC. Overall, the MSMEs report a
positive revenue growth trend in the past five years. This
increase is linked to growth in domestic demand and improved
quality of suppliers. The key conclusions and
recommendations reflect the needs of various types of MSMEs
and the international experience of policy responses that
are adapted on their needs: simplify and make more
transparent the policy environment; address market and
institutional gaps to foster private investment in the
MSMEs; strengthen and expand the base of opportunity
entrepreneurs; devise innovative solutions to infrastructure
challenges; pilot approaches to address MSME skills gap at
scale; and pursue integration into national market and value
chains. Recommendations from the multi-stakeholder dialogues
about the SME ecosystem will support the implementation of
the SME Growth and Development Project but can also be
applied more broadly and inform the design of government
policies and reforms.


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