Micro-, Small-, and Medium enterprises (MSME) are the backbone of the global economy. They account for over 90% of companies and 70% of total employment (99.9% and 61% respectively in the UK), and as such play a vital role in international trade and development according to a new report out from Alibaba today.
The report comes out on the United Nations’ MSME Day, an event intended to raise awareness of the tremendous contributions of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Small businesses are more than ever in need of support, as they navigate the impacts of the COVID pandemic, conflicts and the climate crisis. They are the hardest hit by these multiple shocks, and at the same time play a critical role in building back stronger.
MSMEs have to become more resilient to future shocks, and efforts and stimulus packages must target those most heavily affected by disruptions to global supply chains, rising inflation, and the continuing ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic.United Nations
The Alibaba report highlights that MSMEs were hit hard by the pandemic, with micro-businesses suffering disproportionately: up to 70% of global MSMEs saw sales decline with two-thirds reporting their sales dropped by 40%.
MSMEs offline business has been severely disrupted by lack of demand while online sales have skyrocketed; digitisation is an effective way for MSMEs to risk-proof their business: the survival rate of MSMEs is 7 percentage points higher in the regions with the highest ecommerce than in those with the lowest. Similarly, during the pandemic, the economic downturn was less severe in regions with higher ecommerce penetration.
In addition to the release of the economic analysis, Alibaba.com is recognising MSME Day with two events:
A special edition of “Alibaba.com Transformer Talks,” the brand’s regular livestreaming series, that will feature US-based small businesses with a global mindset and a focus on community and sustainability. This took place on the 23rd of June and a playback is available on LinkedIn.
An MSME-focused webinar co-hosted by Alibaba.com with the International Trade Centre (ITC) of the United Nations titled, “B2B ecommerce: What is it, and how can SMEs benefit?” at 7:30 am ET today with playback available on Facebook.