Today marks the second annual World SME Day — a day designed to highlight and celebrate the significant contribution SMEs make to the global economy and in particular, developing nations.
In April 2017, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 27 would be World Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Day, and the inaugural event was celebrated last year, including in Melbourne.
The day is set aside as a global occasion to celebrate all micro, small and medium businesses, recognising the significant contribution this sector makes to the UN’s global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
As the UN explains, it is often SMEs and micro businesses that are the “first responders to societal needs”.
“These types of enterprises are responsible for significant employment and income generation opportunities across the world and have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development. [They] tend to employ a larger share of the vulnerable sectors of the workforce, such as women, youth, and people from poorer households. [They] can even sometimes be the only source of employment in rural areas. As such, micro and small and medium enterprises as a group are the main income provider for the income distribution at the ‘base of the pyramid’.”
But in order to continue contributing in this way, the UN says more needs to be done to help improve access to finance for SMEs. Improving such access is a key aspect of the organisation’s Sustainable Development Goals and one of the reasons why there’s now a day dedicated to celebrating SMEs.
For more information about World SME Day, click here.