small medium enterprises

As the world celebrates the MSME Day on 27 June 2019, we must acknowledge that the role of Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the world’s economy cannot be gainsaid. According to United Nations statistics, MSMEs account for more than 90% of all businesses and around 70% of jobs worldwide. Obviously, they play a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth and providing employment for vulnerable groups such as women, young entrepreneurs, and poor communities.

In 2017, to recognize the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all – and achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – the United Nations General Assembly declared 27 June to be MSME Day by adopting resolution 71/279.

“Smaller businesses can be more responsive in providing solutions to a changing world but their size also makes them vulnerable. Access to finance has always been a primary obstacle to many of these SMEs. On the other hand, identifying international market opportunities as well as navigating trade-related procedures is also hard for SMEs. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda, we must then work towards improving SMEs access to finance, to value chains and to markets,” says Mr. George Wachiuri, Optiven Group CEO.

With regards to the Kenyan situation, CEO Wachiuri believes that the country can work harder to reduce instances of double taxation, cut on delayed payments by county governments to businesses and enhance more participation in the county finance bills by the business community. “On the other hand, most sectors thrive in conducive infrastructural environment and Kenya can work even harder to improve on this front,” he says.

Celebrating the role of MSME should thus also be an opportunity to raise awareness of the need for greater investment into small and mid-sized businesses in developing countries but it is also a celebration of the gigantic contribution smaller companies make to the global economy, often away from the glaring limelight.

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