Cuba’s Ministry of Economy and Planning (MEP) gave green light to the constitution of 294 new small and medium enterprises (SMEs) last week. 282 are purely private companies, 11 of them are state-owned SMEs and one is a cooperative. The latest round of approvals is the largest bouquet of new economic actors ever given the green light in one fell swoop in socialist Cuba.
Among the newly approved SMEs (list as PDF) are businesses from virtually every sector and part of the country. They include, for example, food traders and manufacturers of everything from cheese to canned fish, construction companies, bakers and catering businesses, transport service providers, manufacturers of various industrial goods from furniture to optical instruments, plant installers, veterinary businesses, textile factories and IT companies. Some of them continue to operate closed state-owned factories with new and old machinery.
Since the SME laws of September 18, 2021 came into force, their number has grown to 7714. Around 200,000 people currently work in the sector. SMEs can employ up to 100 people in Cuba and, as a separate legal entity, enjoy tax advantages over self-employed workers.
This article was first published on Cuba Heute, a German-language news portal.