Helping micro and small enterprises better manage their finances

A person laying materials on a table to produce reusable totes. Photo courtesy of Cathy Cheney
July 27, 2023

Read the Arabic version ▸

In line with its efforts to support micro and small enterprises (MSEs) achieve better operational performance that would enhance their ability to grow, transform and become more resilient, USAID Informal Livelihoods Advancement Activity (Iqlaa) extended financial management support services to 45 MSEs in Jordan.

The services were provided by the Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), one of Iqlaa’s implementation partners. Within the scope of Iqlaa, MEII launched the financial literacy program ‘Tamweeli Assist’, which aims to support MSEs improve their financial and digital management skills through tailored financial literacy and training activities. The program also provides financial bookkeeping software systems mostly financed by Iqlaa. Software installations are followed by one-on-one training sessions on the adoption and utilization of the system to help MSEs better manage their finances in a timely and cost-effective manner.

The 45 MSEs are from the services sector, located in various governorates in Jordan including the capital Amman, Aqaba, Salt and Fuheis, while 11% are women-led businesses.  

In October 2008, Ismail Dasan started a joint venture in car rental services for tourists. With a fleet of 19 cars financed through leasing, Ismail’s business has been growing; he now aims to explore partnerships. Yet, certain fundamental tools and skills have been lacking, especially in the financial management of the business.  

In November 2017, Saeed Al Mamoon established and registered his small business that provides electrical installation and maintenance services in addition to retail sales of electrical appliances. He too would like to see his business grow, but the lack of timely insight into his finances has been forming a major challenge. 

The inside of a store specializing in electronic appliance filled with electrical goods and supplies.
Saeed Al Mamoon business specialized in electrical installation and maintenance services in addition to retail sale of electrical appliances.

In January 2022, Lateefah Al Talbi started a small business that provides imported surveillance devices and solar energy equipment, with installation services and after-sales support. With her team of five, Lateefah managed to grow the business albeit not up to her best aspirations.

Two adults using a laptop computer.
Lateefah Al Talbi’s team using the software system by Iqlaa.

Since establishing their businesses, Ismail, Saeed, and Lateefah have been struggling to record daily transactions on small notebooks or simple Excel sheets. External accountants were hired to go through the financial records every one or two months to manage tax. While such processes have repeatedly proven to lack time efficiency, they also presented a high risk of inaccuracy.

What those three MSEs and the remaining 42 really needed was a software system to record business transactions, provide timely reports on cash flow, track customers due balances, manage inventory, and properly record revenues and expenses, all of which would help them have a well-informed perspective on when and how they can grow their businesses or expand into larger markets.

With their entrepreneurial drive and eagerness to grow and improve, they signed up at Iqlaa and received the financial management support services through Tamweeli Assist by MEII. After the trainings and software installations at their offices, they are now smoothly managing their revenues and expenses, able to issue official invoices through the system, well informed of any due payments, and most importantly, gaining credibility in the market.

“Through Iqlaa’s support, I am able today to know the financial status of my business at any moment of the day. My planning and projections have immensely improved, and I can now plan for my business growth more confidently” - Lateefah Al Talibi

The services mentioned here are part and parcel of Iqlaa’s interventions and will continue throughout the life of the program. The MSEs that receive these services will be mentored closely by Iqlaa’s team to make sure they enjoy the best benefits of such important capacity building and software implementation. MSEs that have the acumen and tools to manage their finances are more resilient to future challenges, better equipped to plan and project growth, and more prone to achieving sustainability and scalability.

The USAID Informal Livelihoods Advancement Activity (Iqlaa) is a five-year USAID-funded program that started in 2022 and aims to support Jordan's home-based businesses (HBBs) and micro and small enterprises (MSEs) to grow, transform, and become resilient to future shocks. Iqlaa’s approach will explore new ways of doing business and improving access to finance, markets, and services.

The program focuses on four sectors: agriculture, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, and services, with special focus on technology development and implementation. Iqlaa infuses a gender, youth, and social inclusion lens throughout all interventions.


Stay connected to our work.