Advancing Private Sector-Led Economic Reform

In a region marred by conflict, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan maintains an environment of relative stability. The Kingdom’s economy has been slowly recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. However, Jordan still faces serious economic challenges marked by high unemployment (particularly among women), scarce resources, an inflated public sector, unsustainable fiscal imbalance, burdensome refugee flows from neighboring countries, and an urgent need for policy reforms that drive private sector-led economic growth. CIPE provides extensive capacity-enhancing technical assistance, advocacy training, and other support to strengthen civil society stakeholders representing the private sector in Jordan, combining international smart practices with local expertise to enable private sector-led solutions to Jordan’s most pressing economic challenges.  

Since 2006, CIPE has supported business associations and economic think tanks in Jordan to enhance their internal organizational capacities, represent their private sector constituencies, and advocate for market-oriented reform that promotes a conducive business-enabling environment for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).  

CIPE is supporting civil society partners representing underrepresented segments of the Jordanian private sector, including businesswomen and green industries. CIPE’s support to several business associations in the green economy sector succeeded in forging fruitful and sustainable public/private dialogue, along with several studies and key recommendations to expand economic opportunity. CIPE assisted its partners, who represent the voice of businesswomen, to assemble Jordan’s first and only national coalition, Insaf, dedicated to advancing women entrepreneurs’ interests. The Insaf coalition focuses its advocacy strategy on improving access to finance for women-led MSMEs. CIPE’s work with business associations in Jordan aims to elevate private-sector voices and develop sustainable communication channels and platforms between decision-makers and business leaders to advocate for policy reforms to expand economic opportunities and inclusive, sustainable growth. 

CIPE’s support to Sawtouna, Jordan’s first grassroots civil society-led entrepreneur and SME advocacy effort, resulted in lowering the capital threshold requirement for the registration of limited liability companies and in the authorization of licenses for home-based businesses. A subsequent overarching small- and medium-business agenda (SMBA) advanced reforms across several key pillars of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. With CIPE’s support, the Sawtouna coalition engaged extensively with public officials and other stakeholders. As a result, the SMBA informed the development of the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation’s Jordan 2025 National Vision and Strategy and the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation’s National Entrepreneurship and SME Growth Strategy.   

Made possible by a grant under the USAID Jordan Local Enterprise Support (LENS) Project, CIPE provided targeted training and technical assistance to 11 business associations spanning diverse sectors of the economy to serve micro- and small enterprises in underserved communities. CIPE strengthened the capacities and impact of local partners in the tourism, manufacturing, logistics, hospitality, women-led enterprises, and green economy sectors. This involved co-creating organizational strengthening plans that addressed local partners’ development priorities in governance, strategy, member value and growth, advocacy, sustainability,  and strategic communications. The program also included the establishment of models of excellence for Jordanian associations. CIPE developed a Business Association Excellence curriculum tailored to the unique needs of independent, membership-based business associations in Jordan, now housed at the King Abdullah II Center for Excellence (KACE).