GEF Engagement with Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has a long history of supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). As the GEF has shifted into more integrated approaches, it has also increasingly engaged MSMEs not only as a source of innovation and as beneficiaries, but also as a partner in scaling up the generation of global environmental benefits through a value-chain approach. The GEF's latest Private Sector Engagement Strategy, approved in 2020, for the first time specifically mentions micro and small entrepreneurs such as smallholders, sole traders, artisans, and primary producers to be included in the GEF's private sector engagement initiatives.

This evaluation looks for the first time at the extent to which the GEF engages MSMEs, which constitute the larger part of the private sector in the countries that the GEF works in. Through portfolio reviews and case studies, the evaluation assessed the types of interventions that engage MSMEs, the extent to which they have been engaged, and the environmental, social, and economic outcomes of these interventions. It also assessed the factors that influence the extent of MSME engagement and provides lessons on how the GEF can more effectively engage MSMEs.

The report contains the following recommendations and issues for the future:
GEF should address their context-specific needs, barriers, and economic viability...

  1. through low-cost, context-appropriate solutions.
  2. facilitate reforms required for access to finance and technical resources.
  3. Partner with local organizations for post-project support needed for broader adoption.
  4. Design for and monitor social and economic benefits that engage the private sector, including MSMEs.