Micro and small enterprises (MSEs), which are often informal, play an economic and social role of paramount importance in developing countries, accounting for the majority of jobs and a considerable share of national wealth. In addition, they are, as a group, the largest trainer and employer of young people in these countries.
At a time when population growth and urbanization are combining to exercise pressure on job markets and education systems, national economies are struggling to create sufficient decent job opportunities for the young people who are entering the job market in steadily growing numbers. The post-primary level is a pivotal stage in leaving the school system. This context, which has been emphasized by the Arab revolutions, shines a spotlight on the urgent need to adopt an innovative approach that is suited to the realities in countries and takes into account the needs and constraints specific to micro and small enterprises (MSEs) and the young people who receive their training in them. The aim is notably to consolidate, even create, training schemes and systems to increase professionalism and insertion that move beyond sectoral logics and are conceived in close conjunction with enterprises and public authorities so that they are sustainable and lasting.
For 20 years, GRET has provided support services for small economic operators and helped define and implement training systems and policies that are suited to skills needs within economies. Since 2004, GRET has extended the scope of its interventions to include socio-professional insertion for young people.