MICRO-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) face numerous challenges on a global scale, including conflicts, commodity dependence, geopolitical tensions and pandemics. These factors contribute to social and economic instability, creating obstacles for the growth and sustain-ability of MSMEs.
Among the most affected are women and young entrepreneurs who encounter additional barriers, including limited access to finance, capacity-building support, partnership networks and global markets. These challenges often confine them to informal or necessity entrepreneurship.
To address these barriers and foster an enabling environment for women and youth entrepreneurs, it is crucial to implement policies that strengthen their capacities and support the development of MSMEs. By removing the barriers, providing necessary support systems, and promoting inclusivity, we can facilitate the growth and success of such businesses. This will contribute to the efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This also aligns with the larger principle of leaving no one behind.
In addition to empowering entrepreneurs, building resilient supply chains plays a vital role in the success of MSMEs. Supply chains are integral to global trade and commerce, but they are susceptible to disruptions.
Collaborative efforts between policy- makers and businesses are necessary to ensure economically viable, socially responsible, and, more importantly, environmentally sustainable supply chains.
Supporting women and young entrepreneurship by strengthening supply chains will nurture a more resilient and inclusive business ecosystem.
By promoting equitable opportunities and empowering marginalised groups, MSMEs can become catalysts for transformative change, driving economic growth, job creation and reduced inequalities.
By supporting MSMEs through effective policies, improved access to resources, and resilient supply chains, the government can unlock their potential and pave the way for inclusive and comprehensive economic progress.
Dr Intikhab Ulfat
Published in Dawn, September 21st, 2023