Analysis: World MSME Day 2021: Putting MSMEs at the Heart of Inclusive and Sustainable Recovery
By René Van Berkel
The United Nations commemorates 27th June as World Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Day. MSMEs continue to be heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some firms have been able to do well by stepping up to supply pandemic response goods, including Personal Protective Equipment, pharmaceuticals and lower cost medical devices, and services, particularly digital services. Most firms have been able to cushion the adverse impacts by going virtual and accelerating their transition to e-commerce. Nevertheless, across the board, MSMEs are reeling under the pandemic with widespread losses in terms of sales, profits and employment.
Financial worries have taken centre-stage. However lasting solutions depend on overcoming the underlying challenges for MSME recovery. Through its work with MSME clusters, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) identified five main challenges for small scale manufacturers.