Published On: Tue, Jun 26th, 2018

Minister Johnson: Micro, small and medium enterprises are a great source of employment

MinTEATT Stuart JohnsonPOND ISLAND — Sint Maarten — Last year on 27 June, the international community celebrated for the first time the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.

These are enterprises, which generally employ fewer than 250 persons based on international criteria. They are considered as the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries.

Those enterprises, which generally employ fewer than 250 persons, are the backbone of most economies worldwide and play a key role in developing countries.

“As Minister for Tourism and Economic Affairs, I would like to take this opportunity to wish the Sint Maarten Micro, small and medium enterprises, happy enterprises day.

“You are the ones who make or break our economy.  You are currently operating in very challenging times.  It is no different for the public sector.  However, we are all resilient and will overcome the challenges that came with the hurricanes of September 2017.

“On behalf of the Government of Sint Maarten, we take our hats off and salute you, management and employees on enterprises day.  #SXM Strong,” Minister Stuart Johnson said on Tuesday on the eve of Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day.

According to the data provided by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), formal and informal Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) make up over 90% of all firms around the globe and account on average for 60-70% of total employment and 50% of Gross Domestic Product.

The United Nations General Assembly, recognizing the importance of these enterprises, decided to declare 27 June the Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day to raise public awareness of their contribution to sustainable development.

On a global level, these types of enterprises are responsible for significant employment and income generation opportunities across the world and have been identified as a major driver of poverty alleviation and development.

MSMEs tend to employ a larger share of the vulnerable sectors of the workforce, such as women, youth, and people from poorer households.

MSMEs can even sometimes be the only source of employment in rural areas. As such, MSMEs as a group are the main income provider for the income distribution at the “base of the pyramid”.
MSMEs should be the first responders to societal needs and provide the safety net for inclusiveness.

Micro-, small and medium sized enterprises are vital in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular in promoting innovation, creativity and decent work for all.

Efforts to enhance access to finance for SMEs across key sectors of national economies are an important element of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

SDG targets 8.3 and 9.3 call for enhancing the access of SMEs to financial services. In addition, SMEs are an important element in the implementation of SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure).