MSMEs ‘engines of social mobility and equality’

26 June 2020 | Muriel Cozier

June 27th 2020 is Micro Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (MSME) day.

Created by the International Council for Small Businesses (ICSB) and first marked in 2017, it is aimed at raising public awareness about the contribution made by MSMEs to sustainable development and the global economy. The theme for MSME Day 2020 is ‘We hear you,’ in recognition of the political and regulatory support that these businesses need to grow.  

According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), MSMEs represent about 90% of businesses and more than 50% of employment worldwide. Formal MSEMs contribute 40% of GDP in emerging economies, that number being considerably higher when informal MSMEs are included.

The International Council for Small Businesses (ICSB), a global platform supporting small business, said that despite broad support from most governments, MSMEs are still in need of much political and regulatory relief ‘which will enhance their narrative and support their establishment and entrepreneurial pursuits.’

The ICSB highlighted support from the United Nations; which has engaged recently with many initiatives in support of MSMEs, especially those aligning with the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals. ‘The UN has been vocal in their understanding of MSMEs as the keys to success in achieving the SDGs,’ the ICSB said.

Addressing one of several MSME Day events, US Senator Marco Rubio said ‘From supply chain disruptions to public health closures, MSMEs have been particularly impacted. Government’s around the world have provided unprecedented relief to small businesses and must continue to provide remedies so MSMEs can survive this crisis and have the capital and resources they need for long-term recovery.’

‘Small businesses are the engines of social mobility and equality, fuelled by ingenuity and the determination of entrepreneurs worldwide.’ Rubio added.

Acknowledging the need to support small business in rebuilding economies, Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary General of UNCTAD announced the launch of a project to drive a post-covid-19 economic resurgence through MSME-driven growth in developing countries. ‘MSMEs create jobs that offer hope to the most vulnerable in our communities. They are the spine of our local, national and global economy and must be front and centre in our covid-19 response and recovery strategies. The first and most urgent step is to provide necessary support for their survival,’ Kituyi said.

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