This has now become a must for the inclusive growth of any nation as well as the small business community. We at ISSME stress the need to create effective linkage among big businesses and small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and their support institutions at the national, regional and international level.
Most international bodies working in the sector agree that SMEs are effective creators of employment, innovation, income and economic growth. But many of them fail to realize their full potential due to lack of access to markets, finance, the right technology and business skills. ISSME in collaboration with other development partners has designed programmes to assist SMEs at the enterprise level to enhance their competitiveness both at the domestic and international levels.
In developing countries, business linkages with local small-medium enterprises (SMEs) – including procurement, distribution, and sales – offer big firms the opportunity to reduce input costs while increasing specialization and flexibility.
Companies realize that it is good business to share benefits with the communities in the developing countries in which they operate. Enabling small, local firms to supply goods and services to larger enterprises creates more efficient supply chains. At the same time, it maximizes development benefits by helping local companies to grow and create jobs.
ISSME focuses on opportunities for increasing collaboration even further, to move from individual project success to widespread replication and scale in business linkage activity:
- Sharing information, such as supplier assessments and databases.
- Sharing “portable” tools, such as training modules, needs and impact assessment tools, and mechanisms for identifying and vetting NGOs and other potential partners for business linkage programs.
- Performing needs and impact assessments jointly, for example by working together and with development agencies or NGOs to explore the specific socio-cultural, economic, and environmental conditions of a particular shared market. Companies could work collaboratively to measure the totality of a group of companies’ impacts on a particular community.
- Exploring complementarities between the sales, procurement, and distribution linkages of different companies, in order to create linkage programs in clusters or to build on already-established models where they exist.
- Investing in joint financing mechanisms, involving where possible the commercial banking sector.
- Collectively engaging with government to press for supportive public policies and build capacity for effective public service provision.
- Jointly supporting growth and development of effective intermediaries, as a means of facilitating these and other collaborative actions to expand and improve business linkage activity.
Business linkages with SMEs offer large firms an opportunity to reduce costs, increase productivity, enhance reputation, access local knowledge and integrate into foreign or base of the pyramid markets.
Please email or call us to arrange an introductory interaction to help us get an overview of your requirements and discuss how we could tailor our approach to suit your demands. This would of course be a no-cost, no-obligation interaction.
Global Business Section
International Society for Small and Medium Enterprises
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