Small and medium enterprises drive progress. They are institutions that provide opportunities to the marginalized sectors in the global economy.
But the hyperconnected, highly digital world of trade seems to have forgotten the importance of SMEs. Today, companies like Walmart, Amazon, and Apple are among the dominant names dictating the rules of the game.
Big business controls the means of production and dictates who has access to these tools. Success stories are sparse because many SMEs wrestle to get over the hump of the financial gap they face.
Despite these obstacles, SMEs provide unique opportunities both for a nation’s economy and its local communities.
Economics of SMEs
In developing countries, wholesale and retail trade are jumpstarting economies. Overall, SMEs provide “up to 40% of national income (GDP) in emerging economies.” SMEs in Malaysia plays a big role in its economy. The nation’s growing SME industry is poised “to achieve the target of 41% to GDP by 2020.”
Power of Women-Run SMEs
SMEs provide opportunities to different sectors in emerging economies. In particular, we are seeing a growth in women-run SMEs in different parts of the world. Women-run SMEs make up approximately 1/3 of the industry. SMEs contribute to promoting gender equality by empowering women through entrepreneurship programs.
In Egypt, Women’s World Banking has helped many women entrepreneurs breakthrough the SME industry. Through its program designed to help low-income women, they have provided individual loans such as Sabah Adel Mahmoud’s poultry business. With her success, Mahmoud’s children are now able to go to school.
Financial Gap to Bridge
But opportunities like Mahmoud are far and wide. There is still a prevalent financial gap when it comes to SMEs. The gap is even greater when we factor in micro SMEs (MSMEs). Roughly 70% of MSMEs lack access to credit. The financial gap, however, varies considerably.
There are several methods of breaking the financial gap.
Focus on mobile. It may not be the easiest for many SMEs, but mobile technology is something to consider. Smartphones are how consumers search for and buy products and services they need. SMEs should adopt a mobile-based business model to reach potential consumers.
Lead generator. This may sound a little out of the budget for SMEs but is an effective means of growing a business. To sell products or open your business to new opportunities, SMEs need to actively generate new leads.
Personalized marketing. In a time where fair trade and supporting small businesses, SMEs should appropriate time and money into marketing campaigns on social media geared to attract potential business partners.
SMEs Go Further with Export Portal
Export Portal is focused on improving the livelihood of emerging economies by empowering its communities through entrepreneurship. We are an integrity-based marketplace that provides all the tools you need to compete with big business in the global economy.
Export Portal opens doors of opportunities for SMEs or MSMEs by plugging in them into our marketplace for maximum exposure. Our portal is an all-in-one tool where you can sell your products and create marketing opportunities. We’re focused on helping honest, hardworking individuals grow their business. Our mobile-friendly website makes it easy for consumers to find your company.