Designation of June 27 as Micro, Small, and Medium sized Enterprises Day was decided upon by the United Nations General Assembly under resolution (A/RES/71/279). This day is celebrated to create awareness concerning the significant contributions of Micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME) to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations (UN). Development of economies is driven by MSME and self-employed workers. Across the globe, they are accountable for 90 percent of all businesses, while providing two-thirds of employment.
With adequate support, they are capable of contributing massively to the structural transformation of economies, ensuring inclusive, equitable, and sustained economic growth and jobs. The global working environment for MSME and entrepreneurs have been disrupted by various recurring shocks and crises. These enterprises have also become vulnerable to growing inflation and disruptions in supply chain due to conflicts, geopolitical tensions, commodity dependence and pandemics which bring about social and political instability. However, women- and youth-owned enterprises are most vulnerable and usually at risk of external shocks.
Barriers & challenges impede growth of women & youths’ entrepreneurship.
There is an increasing percentage of the total number of businesses by women and youth across the world. Faced by restricted access to affordable financing, partnership networks, capacity-building support, and global markets, women and young entrepreneurs need assistance to sail through the various challenges that impedes their businesses’ growth on a regular basis. Therefore, there is a need for policies that empower capacities and support the development of MSME and entrepreneurship for women and young people. This will help with the removal of barriers and challenges.
Also, the policies should be implemented with provision of an operating environment to enable the growth of women- and youth-owned businesses. By doing so, a contribution is being made towards achievement of SDGs 1,4,5,8,9,10 and the pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) — “leave no one behind”. Commemoration of this day has its focus on providing support for resilient supply chains for the benefit of workers and the environment.
A human-centered approach is needed to improve work conditions.
Supply chains are essential to global trade and commerce and can have their functioning easily impacted by conflicts, pandemics, and disasters. When this happens, there is an increase in costs and transactions become more difficult. Also, in international supply chains, suppliers can be pressured by competition and concentration of significant operations which makes them reduce costs to remain in business. Adverse outcomes are likewise expected when there is a poor working conditions, unfair wages, lack of attention to environmentally-sound practices, lack of workers’ representation, and unsafe working environments.
Therefore, there is a need for implementation of a human-centered approach for improvement of healthy work conditions. MSME and the communities they obliged to are usually affected by practices that cause environmental degradation and disrupt working conditions. Resultantly, it is necessary that policymakers and businesses collaborate to drive supply chains that are economically viable, and socially and environmentally. Celebration of the international MSME on June 27 every year, providing a chance to emphasize the role of MSME in sustainable development.
50 percent of global GDP is contributed by MSME.
Development of MSME is a priority for many governments across the globe because 600 million jobs will be needed for absorption of the increasing global workforce by 2030. Majority of the formal jobs in emerging markets are provided by MSME, creating 7 out of 10 employment opportunities. They are accountable for 60-70 percent of employment and 50 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) worldwide. They are potentially capable of transforming economies, fostering job creation and promoting equitable economic growth.