July 17, 2022

Business resilience in Libya in the post-COVID age

In Libya, the COVID‑19 pandemic has created dramatic disruption for entrepreneurs. With a possible recession and struggles on the horizon, business resilience is a vital imperative for survival. SPARK extended the Tadamon programme to Libya with the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) and the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) to support MSMEs in Libya to safeguard existing MSMEs and create job opportunities.

Political flux in Libya and the ongoing worldwide crisis like COVID-19 and Ukraine-Russia crisis play a significant role in the slow of  Libya’s economic recovery. The uncertainty overwhelms the scene, which was apparent in the recent report by the World Bank, which stated, “It is impossible to forecast economic outcomes with any degree of confidence due to the high level of uncertainty surrounding political and security developments”. 

During the recent few months, SPARK worked closely with its local partner, Deraz Corner, through the Tadamon programme in Libya to identify the resilience of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in Libya. 

Assessing resilience

Surveys, focus group discussions (FGDs)and meetings with stakeholders took place to identify the gaps and design a comprehensive response plan to support the impacted MSMEs. The plan aims to safeguard the MSMEs, safeguard jobs, create new job opportunities and help businesses to grow through a resilience approach. The outcomes of the surveys and FGDs showed that MSMEs need to become more resilient. 

Resilience usually is connected to IT and digitalisation. Still, the outcomes were not limited to those main factors but to more crucial topics like adjusting business plans, empowering digital presence and management, risk management, creating safe working environments, strategic planning and staff wellbeing. The outcomes helped SPARK and its partner to design a comprehensive resilience plan. 

Business resilience in Libya in the post-COVID age

Designing a resilience plan

The plan included three main activities: a promotional awareness campaign inviting MSMEs to consider reassessing their resilience; training for 30 businesses from all Libyan governorates; and customised coaching sessions based on the needs of entrepreneurs.

The awareness campaign produced videos, graphics and pictures across multiple social media platforms, including SPARK and Deraz Corner accounts, which raised awareness about topics related to employee engagement and psychological well-being, the importance of digital transformation and the benefit of reassessing the company’s plans amid the worldwide changes.

SPARK & ISDB and ISFD || Awareness campaign for MSMEs in Libya

Additionally, 15 businesses were selected based on online registration to attend training from specialised coaches in building business plans, digital marketing and e-commerce, human resources and risk management, exporting and staff wellbeing. 

Also, the plan included customised coaching sessions based on the needs of the participants, where the businesses had the chance to access private customised coaching sessions to help the business owners and representatives of the companies to empower their employees and help their growth and growth development. 

“The type of topic discussed is different and unique. It matches the growth of my business and matches the recent changes on the ground,” says Hamed Elhoni, Founder at Engraveha and a participant in the programme. 

Upon completion of the programme, the participants gathered for networking day and certificates of participation and appreciation were distributed. The programme will continue supporting MSMEs in the next stage.

“ Access to coaching and mentoring remains a challenge for all, especially MSMEs.We are working towards facilitating greater ease of access to knowledge adequately address this aspect,” says Mohamed Hamouda, Project Manager at Deraz Corner.