Summary of Recommendations
In light of a post-pandemic world that will emerge, it is critical to identify appropriate areas of MSME capacity building that will be addressed through both short-term actions and long-term strategies. Long-term implementation plans must promote inclusive post-pandemic growth and support women and youth entrepreneurs, as well as provide assistance in digital transformation, ensure opportunities to access financing and support services, and ultimately encourage MSMEs to shift from being domestically oriented to becoming more internationally oriented by increasing their global market access.
This toolkit has focused on six main thematic areas of focus. The Partnership’s overarching recommendations in each thematic area are as follows:
Promoting Inclusive Post-Pandemic Growth:
Social dialogue between governments, MSMEs and other key stakeholders is critical for achieving an inclusive crisis response and sustainable routes to recovery. Governments must ensure that the needs of small businesses according to their diverse needs (e.g.: size of enterprise, gender and age of entrepreneurs) are addressed through the monitoring and evaluation of action plans are part the long-term economic recovery.
Supporting Women and Youth Entrepreneurs:
Systemic barriers that limit the economic empowerment of women and youth must be addressed in order to maximize their economic potential, in both formal and informal settings, through further capacity building, promotion of knowledge networks, and collection of disaggregated data.
Aiding MSMEs’ Digital Transformation:
Policymakers must further assess the existing efforts of MSMEs to incorporate a digital strategy into their business model, and provide additional support for digitalization transformation accordingly.
Securing Access to Funding:
Governments must make access to finance and various funding mechanisms well-known and accessible, as well as targeted to the distinct needs of MSMEs and entrepreneurs (e.g., by enterprise size, industry, gender and age), which can be assessed through data collection.
Ensuring Access to MSME Support Services:
Governments are encouraged to invest more resources in the marketing and information distribution of MSME support programs and services, to make sure details on these resources are well known to entrepreneurs, particularly women and youth.
Encouraging Broader Market Access:
Entrepreneurs and MSMEs seeking international market experience must be encouraged by government actors to expand their markets overseas. This includes investing in clear promotion of international opportunities, and in entrepreneurs’ upskilling to participate in overseas markets.
To learn more about the recommendations outlined in this toolkit, please review the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada’s research report Advancing Growth in the Asia Pacific: Challenges and Policy Solutions for MSMEs in a Post-Covid World, including a matrix of the Partnership’s policy recommendations.