The global economy and the underlying policy regime have changed significantly in past several years. There has been continuous policy evolution in all parts of the world and gradually the focus got shifted from “protection” to “promotion” of small and medium enterprises (SMEs). This made SMEs vulnerable to face the emerging challenges of competition both within and outside the country. Though the irreversible trend towards globalisation and liberalisation of economies has posed new challenges to SMEs, requiring changes in their business operations and strategies, the crumbling barriers to trade have opened up limitless business opportunities to progressive and forward-looking SMEs. Today, promotion of small businesses as a vehicle to create new job opportunities and create national wealth appears high on the agenda of policymakers and administrators. However, to become part of the global chain in international production and trade, they need to come up to international standards in all respects.
Hence, the need of the hour is to make SMEs globally competitive, resilient, and innovative which can seamlessly integrate into their domestic economy and beyond to withstand the challenges and for sustainable growth and equitable development in the region. Thus, in the changing world economic order, ISSME’s primary mandate is to work towards effective dissemination of quality and reliable information; highlight the significant contributions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to an economy; encourage national governments and SME support institutions world over to focus on the promotion of SMEs; articulate the cause and development of SMEs; push for pro-SME policies & programmes; and facilitate business linkages, networking & trade opportunities. In order to achieve this mandate, ISSME has adopted the vision paper with strategic goals for the post-2016 SME development (2016-21).
ISSME’s Vision Paper for the five year period (April 1, 2016 – March 31, 2021) is a management tool to guide ISSME into the future and help align its mission with its goals, strategies, resources and, ultimately, the daily activities of the professionals working with the organisation. It is designed to enable ISSME members, affiliates & partners and the millions of SMEs that they represent, to embrace change and prosper from it. The Vision Paper also serves as a blueprint for our relationship with our numerous stakeholders worldwide.
The Vision Paper has been designed on the premises of ISSME’s strengths and to overcome its constraints, weaknesses and threats, in order to achieve its Vision, Mission and Objectives. This document provides the broad direction for ISSME’s expected evolution in the coming five years. In addition, it would enable ISSME members, and the millions of SMEs that the organization represents, to better understand and to benefit from change. This Strategy Plan sets out general strategic priorities contingent upon availability of resources, both financial and human.
This Vision Paper will act as a guiding tool for transforming ISSME into one of the foremost, commanding and esteemed international organisations by 2021. In order to make ISSME a highly resourceful and vibrant organisation that can meet the needs of the SME community, ISSME’s Governing Body has given it the following mandate.
- Direct attention to the demands from various regions and countries at different stages of development, and show diversity and flexibility in its programme and activities.
- Create an SME cooperation strategy among member countries, helping to promote the transfer of capital, to foster exchanges and cooperation between developed and developing economies, and to help SMEs access more advanced technologies and managerial expertise.
- Work with its member organizations, and with supporting institutions, to develop mechanisms of cooperation that will provide ISSME’s SME constituents with suitable opportunities for international cooperation and SME-to-SME business opportunities.
- Research, identify and prescribe solutions to the problems of SME global development, attain critical mass, and build a “global brand” as a powerful and influential organization representing the interests of SMEs.
The key to success is to study the needs of member institutions, affiliates and partners, design programmes that are attractive as well as cost-effective to them and provide a new momentum to the development of SMEs worldwide.
This Vision Paper aims at transforming ISSME into a powerful international organization, which will:
- Serve as the voice of SMEs worldwide;
- Strengthen its members, affiliates & partners to enable them to respond more positively and efficiently to the needs of SMEs, and help in building their capacities; and
- Empower SMEs worldwide through targeted interventions to make them sustainable and globally competitive.
To achieve these objectives, ISSME must put in place a programme to leverage strategies, technologies, alliances and resources designed to transform ISSME into one of the most respected and influential international organizations in the world.
Over the next five years, ISSME will undertake the following multi-dimensional activities in order to achieve critical mass:
- Advocate the cause and development of SMEs at all important forums that shape public opinion.
- Facilitate access of SMEs to know-how and best practices through business development services that will enable SMEs to develop their techno-economic capability, modernise their management skills, support proper use of the intellectual property system and improve their information system.
- Promote productivity, technology and innovation of SMEs by enhancing entrepreneurial education and human capital development.
- Enhance SMEs’ access to finance, up-to-date information and international markets.
- Enhance SME competitiveness and linkages, through technology, training, counselling, e-learning, virtual networking and matchmaking and SME cooperation strategies.
- Embrace the strategic use of technology, and get the entire organisation e-enabled, so that important governance, committee, trade, e-learning and other practices can be launched in line with global best practices.
- Foster International cooperation to encourage SMEs’ linkages among SMEs, and Governments, institutions, initiate formation of business alliances; and create mechanisms to facilitate cost-effective international networking and international trade opportunities for SMEs to enable them to reap the benefits of globalisation.
- Developing SME knowledge and database to support SME policy recommendations and SME promotion work.
- Achieve global visibility and impact, by developing a substantive research, public policy, public relations, alliance-building, advocacy agenda, and appointment of affiliates.
- Play a catalytic role to build a supporting and synergistic network of industry associations and SME support institutions so as to make SMEs competitive, sustainable, environmentally friendly, socially responsive, culturally sensitive, and ethical in their business relationships.
These ten interrelated action areas are designed to unleash synergies, and to fuel ISSME’s rapid growth and development as financial and human resources become available.