ILO, Transition to Formal Economy
Global Knowledge Sharing Forum

November 2015, Turin

Frank Grozel, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Business Facilitation Program|, +41 22 917 55 61

For a majority of small entrepreneurs, becoming and remaining formal
is a very complicated endeavour

Survey of traders at the Bamako market (Mali)

Survey of traders at the San Salvador market

A proxy to Informality

Becoming and remaining formal

Remaining formal in El Salvador

This explains, at least partly, the high informality rates
in most developing countries

OECD: 2/3 of world working population is informal

ILO, statistics

Reversing the vicious cycle

Since 2005, UNCTAD’s Business Facilitation Program has helped 28 countries clarify and simplify rules for business registration and operations

Make it easy for businesses to comply with the rules

28 countries

Formalizing a small business in Tanzania

Registering a small business in El Salvador, a word index of business registrations sites

Simple registration through an online single window


Lomas de Zamora (Argentina)



Lessons learnt: why are administrative procedures complicated?

However, simple rules are necessary but not sufficient:
besides being easy, formalization must be attractive and enforced

Formalization strategy in Mali

Partners of the Artisan/Entrepreneur card

Registration of microentrepreneurs in Mali