Ever since the opening of economies, the world witnessed profound changes which have impacted all facets of an economy. Owing to the consolidating trends of globalization and liberalization of economies, no country can any longer rely exclusively on its local resources, capacities, and capabilities to steer its economic growth, but need to integrate its economy in to the global economy.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are no more operating under the old industry paradigm based on “labor and capital” but are required to compete and transform themselves in the new knowledge-based economy. It is not the size of operation and the level of technology that matters. What really matters is the capabilities of SMEs to continuously enhance their competitiveness, creativity, and innovativeness so as to build distinctive competencies to withstand pressures and challenge bigger corporations in niche growth areas or in the global marketplace. In the present scenario, there is a need to create vibrant and resilient SMEs as well as leverage industry networks and global supply chain.
The globalization and liberalization of economies have brought in many opportunities that include expansion of markets and customer-base; optimising production capacity; scope for expansion and diversification of goods and services; and removal of quotas and reduction of custom tariffs. All these opportunities can be exploited by the SMEs provided they produce goods/ services of international standards. But the problems of SMEs, especially in developing countries, are that they still lack proper policy support, credit assistance, infrastructural facilities and state-of-the-art technologies that hinder them take advantage of these opportunities.
Owing to factors like their place in economy, their characteristics, constraints they face and prospects for internationalization, SME development has caught the eyes of UN agencies and many international organization that help nations improve the conditions for their respective SMEs to grow sustainably. Although, a country or an SME could take up the developmental activities independently, but doing it through international cooperation could minimise the experimental cost and benefit from the experiences and best practices in addressing an issue. Enterprises would stand to gain immensely if meaningful and effective cooperation between SMEs and other stakeholders is fostered.
This is why ISSME has kept “fostering international cooperation” as one of its major objectives in promoting SMEs. ISSME is getting new international prominence and stature through its outward-looking approach. As part of its international cooperation, ISSME has a cooperative relationship with concerned UN agencies as well as other major regional and international organizations. ISSME has mutual understanding with like-minded organizations to work areas of interest to both the organizations.
ISSME also has global linkages with universities, researchers, subject matter experts, business incubation centers, technology transfer centers and research institutions, and it works closely with advocacy centers, chambers of commerce & industries, associations of SMEs and financial institutions. ISSME’s global network drives the exchange of information and experiences. It creates synergy at the field level between different organizations and government agencies working in the SME sector to promote the sustainable development of small businesses.
We believe strongly in what the United Nations says about partnerships – that partnerships have emerged as the new way of doing business: Using the skills of business, the capital of philanthropy, and the rigour of the marketplace, partnerships can develop and deliver system‐changing solutions. The challenges and issues facing us are too vast and too complex for any organisation to confront alone.
ISSME welcomes strategic alliance with organizations having similar objectives of promoting SMEs in any manner, and is keen to work jointly with organizations in any part of the world in the larger interest of SMEs. Let us join hands to make our world a beautiful place to live in by empowering small enterprises. For information on how ISSME works with organizations across the globe, please follow the below links: