The UN General Assembly in its 74th Plenary held on the 6th April, 2017 declared 27th June as Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day, recognizing the importance of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in achieving sustainable development goals and in promoting innovation, creativity and sustainable work for all.
What is a micro-, small, or medium-sized enterprise?
The criteria for defining the size of a business differ from country to country. As a reference, the European Commission’s definition of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises is established according to the number of employees and the annual turnover or balance sheet:
The choice of MSME definition could depend on many factors, such as business culture, the size of the country’s population, industry and the level of international economic integration.
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% of all firms and account on average for 70% of total employment and 50% of GDP.
These enterprises, which generally employ fewer than 250 persons, are the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries. 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".
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.
Small businesses, including those run by women and young entrepreneurs, are being hit hardest by the economic fall-out of the pandemic. Unprecedented lockdown measures enacted to contain the spread of the coronavirus have resulted in supply chain disruptions and a massive drop in demand in most sectors.
To continue playing their crucial role in creating decent jobs and improving livelihoods, small businesses depend more than ever on an enabling business environment, including support for access to finance, information, and markets.
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.
With the goal of overcoming these challenges, the International Trade Center, United Nations’ entity, works in the internationalization of micro and SMEs. The center has launched its flagship report: "The SME Competitiveness Outlook 2020: COVID-19: the Great Lockdown and its Effects of Small Business Big money for small businesses. To access the report, click here.
10 steps for a safe and healthy return to work in times of COVID-19
Source : UN
The Ministry of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises has taken several measures to support and bring relief to MSMEs in India.
To view the measures taken, click here.
Source : MSME