MSME businesses are key to creating 600 million new jobs: UN
New Delhi, June 25 (HS): “Micro, small and medium-sized businesses are key to creating the 600 million new jobs needed by 2030 to keep pace with the growth of the world’s working-age population,” said Amina J. Mohammed, United Nations Deputy Secretary General, SME Competitiveness Outlook 2019.
A Great Source of Employment
Since 2017, micro, small and medium-sized businesses celebrate their day in recognition of their work in local and global economies. These enterprises, which generally employ fewer than 250 persons, are the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries.
According to the data provided by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), formal and informal Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) make up over 90 per cent of all firms and account on average for 60-70 per cent of total employment and 50 per cent of GDP.
The United Nations General Assembly, recognizing the importance of these enterprises, decided to declare 27 June the Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development.
MSME: First responders to societal needs
These types of enterprises are responsible for significant employment and income generation opportunities across the world and have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development.
MSMEs tend to employ a larger share of the vulnerable sectors of the workforce, such as women, youth, and people from poorer households. MSMEs can even sometimes be the only source of employment in rural areas. As such, MSMEs as a group are the main income provider for the income distribution at the “base of the pyramid”.
MSMEs should be the first responders to societal needs and provide the safety net for inclusiveness.
Big Money for Small Business: Financing the SDGs
MSME Day 2019 is not only dedicated to raising awareness of the need for greater investment into small and mid-sized businesses in developing countries. It is also a celebration of the gigantic contribution, away from the spotlight, smaller companies make to the global economy.
Smaller businesses can be agile in response to a changing world but their size also makes them vulnerable. Access to finance is a primary obstacle. Identifying international market opportunities and navigating trade-related procedures can be harder for small businesses than for their larger competitors.
With the goal of overcoming these challenges, the International Trade Center, United Nations’ entity, works in the internationalization of micro and SMEs. It is precisely this center of the UN that launches on this day its flagship report: “The SME Competitiveness Outlook 2019: Big money for small businesses.”
Achievement of Sustainable Development Goals
Micro, small and medium sized enterprises are vital in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all.
Efforts to enhance access to finance for SMEs across key sectors of national economies are an important element of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG targets 8.3 and 9.3 call for enhancing the access of SMEs to financial services. In addition, SMEs are an important element in the implementation of SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).