SMEs are the backbone of nearly every national economy around the world. Not only do SMEs generate about 50 to 70 percent of jobs and income, they also foster creativity and enable comprehensive market innovations regardless of the development stage of the economy. Yet they face some structural constraints that call for special attention.
Although there is a worldwide acknowledgement of the barriers to SMEs’ growth, such as limited financial access, lower productivity and several difficulties to access global markets, to this day the implementation of public policies to boost their productivity and competitiveness remains an unresolved challenge.
Governments should ensure a sustainable ecosystem for SMEs, allowing them to interact with suppliers, partners, and customers on a level playing field worldwide. One aspect of such ecosystem should be increasing financial inclusion through new tools and opportunities brought about by the digital finance world. Also expanding digital commerce, paving the way for a broader market access, and fostering the inclusion of SMEs in the modern world. Factors such as size, sector of activity and the national economy’s development stage should be taken into account.
Since SMEs’ challenges are diverse and multifaceted, we must understand the value and the risks involved in each policy proposal. Moreover, we need to think outside the box and be innovative.
We can work together to help smaller companies and younger industries to grow up, boosting their productivity, enhancing their competitiveness, and enabling a fair access to global markets.