A close-up of a smiling man with a smiling woman sewing in the background.
Sewing workshop of a family business in China.
Photo:Marcel Crozet / ILO

Resilience and Rebuilding: MSMEs for sustainable development at the forefront of building back better and stronger from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis and conflicts

The United Nations General Assembly designated 27 June as “Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises Day” (A/RES/71/279) 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 (SDGs).

MSMEs account for 90% of businesses, 60 to 70% of employment and 50% of GDP worldwide. As the backbone of societies everywhere they contribute to local and national economies and to sustaining livelihoods, in particular among the working poor, women, youth, and groups in vulnerable situations.

This year, the International Trade Centre (ITC) marks the 5th anniversary of MSME Day, and 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.

Policymakers must move beyond recovery and consider ways in which to lower and eliminate barriers faced by MSMEs, improve the business environment and access to finance, markets and technology in these fragile times. It is critical that countries and their development partners continue to support and empower MSMEs and unlock their full potential through inspiring innovation, creativity and decent work for all.

2022 Events

To hear from entrepreneurs from across the world and from those who support them, join the all-day celebrations of MSME Day at the United Nations Headquarters on Monday, 27 June 2022, 10:00-18:00 EDT. Register to participate and follow the livestream at UN Web TV: session 1 at 10:00 am; session 2 at 1 pm; session 3 at 3 pm. Download the programme.

MSME day 2022

This MSME Day 2022 hybrid event focuses on how purpose-driven MSMEs and social entrepreneurship are at the center of contributing to inclusive growth, combating inequalities and building back better and stronger, especially during challenging times. Register

MSME day 2022

Visit the page of the ITC to register and attend events on 27 June 2022.

Small matters infography

THE POWER OF SMALL: UNLOCKING THE POTENTIAL OF MSMEs

Explore this infostory to discover the full potential of the MSMEs in securing a better future of work of everyone.

Did you know?

  • 600 million jobs will be needed by 2030 to absorb the growing global workforce, which makes SME development a high priority for many governments around the world.
  • In emerging markets, most formal jobs are generated by SMEs, which create 7 out of 10 jobs.
  • Increasing annual investments in small and medium-sized enterprises by $1 trillion would yield disproportionate dividends in terms of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Small firms in developing countries are among the most concerned about climate change: 68% of companies in sub-Saharan Africa say that environmental risks are significant to their business, according to research by the International Trade Centre (ITC). Half of surveyed companies in developed countries say the same.

Source: World Bank

Related links

Documents and publications

Goal 8 logo Decent Work and Economic Growth

Micro-, small and medium sized enterprises are vital in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. They are an important element in the implementation of SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure.)

A woman holds up a blouse

From export development to sustainability or e-commerce and export processes, the International Trade Center offers a wide range of courses that can help MSMEs in their growth. Take a look at its varied catalog with training in different languages.

illustration of people with clock, calendar, to-do list and decorations

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.