‘Policy makers should create ecosystems conducive to MSMEs’
For Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to contribute sustainable development, there is a need for policy makers to create business ecosystems that is conducive to allow such businesses access markets and financial resources.
This was part of the recommendations by stakeholders at the recently held international symposium on the role of MSMEs in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in New York.
According to the stakeholders, mechanisms to support the important contributions of MSMEs to the SDGs need to be mainstreamed into national development policies and plans, while policies should be harmonized to aid adoption of innovations, creation of decent employment opportunities and gaining a stronger foothold in global value chains.
One of the stakeholders, the Chief Executive Officer of Rhabe Ventures Limited, Abimbola Alawode, while speaking on Policy Environment for MSME Growth alongside senior policymakers and MSME business entrepreneurs, emphasized the need for innovation to address access to finance and access to funding challenges.
Abimbola who is also currently the South Coordinator of the Conduit of Excellence, a UNIDO NQIP Project Group on Cow Pea value chain development, said there is pronounced disparity in ownership of micro businesses and SMEs with a skew towards more men in the former and women in the micro business space mainly due to barriers to access finance.
She deduced that high unemployment resulting from recession is increasing the number of MSMEs which must be encouraged by influencing heads of state to prioritize resource allocation to small business development.
The UNIDO Representative to the United Nations Mr Paul Maselli in his presentation pointed out that since majority of formal employment in developing countries is currently provided by MSMEs, significantly increasing their productivity in terms of manufacturing value added (target 9.2) is inextricably linked to attainment of SDG 9.
He emphasized that it can only be achieved through increased access to financial services and affordable credit small scale industrial enterprises and their positive integration into global value chains and markets (target 9.3).
There was a unanimous agreement amongst the participants to develop innovative financial solutions, which MSME owner agrees that innovative financial solution must take into consideration the limitation and requirements of MSME with focus on developing countries and gender elements.
Abimbola also sought that the UNDESA project includes Nigeria, making a strong case for the importance of Nigeria to meeting the Sustainable Development Goal in Africa.
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