Resilience and Rebuilding: MSMEs for sustainable development at the forefront of building back better and stronger from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis and conflicts
The United Nations General Assembly designated 27 June as “Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises Day” (A/RES/71/279) to raise awareness of the tremendous contributions of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
MSMEs account for 90% of businesses, 60 to 70% of employment and 50% of GDP worldwide. As the backbone of societies everywhere they contribute to local and national economies and to sustaining livelihoods, in particular among the working poor, women, youth, and groups in vulnerable situations.
This year, the International Trade Centre (ITC) marks the 5th anniversary of MSME Day, and small businesses are more than ever in need of support, as they navigate the impacts of the COVID pandemic, conflicts and the climate crisis. They are the hardest hit by these multiple shocks, and at the same time play a critical role in building back stronger.
MSMEs have to become more resilient to future shocks, and efforts and stimulus packages must target those most heavily affected by disruptions to global supply chains, rising inflation, and the continuing ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Policymakers must move beyond recovery and consider ways in which to lower and eliminate barriers faced by MSMEs, improve the business environment and access to finance, markets and technology in these fragile times. It is critical that countries and their development partners continue to support and empower MSMEs and unlock their full potential through inspiring innovation, creativity and decent work for all.