The Global Initiative towards post-Covid-19 resurgence of the MSME sector builds on the mandate enshrined in the General Assembly's Resolution on Global Solidarity to fight the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (A/RES/74/270). adopted on 2 April 2020. The initiative is further guided by the UN Framework for the immediate socio-economic response to COVID-19, which set out the framework for the United Nations’ urgent socio-economic support to countries and societies in the face of COVID-19, and puts in practice the UN Secretary-General’s Shared Responsibility, Global Solidarity report.
The objective of the project is to develop and implement capacity building tools for governments and MSMEs to facilitate resurgence and strengthen resilience of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in developing countries and economies in transition to mitigate the economic and social impact of the global Covid-19 crisis and to facilitate the MSMEs contribution to the SDGs implementation.
The initiative brings together UNCTAD, who also acts as a lead agency— UN DESA and the UN regional commissions for Africa (ECA), Europe (ECE), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the Arab region (ESCWA) with funding provided by the UN Development Account. Thereby, it ensures both global reach and regional presence, international cooperation, and exchange of knowledge and good practices from all over the world.
The project is structured in five clusters addressing the most critical areas for the recovery of the MSME sector:
1. Mobilize entrepreneurial ecosystem and strengthen business skills
2. Simplify business registration and facilitate formalization
3. Improve access to finance and financial literacy
4. Increase access to technology and innovation
5. Enhance access to markets
The project follows a coherent approach towards MSME resurgence, based on the Entrepreneurship Policy Framework (EPF) of UNCTAD, ensuring and facilitating a green, resilient and inclusive recovery of the MSME sector. Activities are delivered through a coordinated approach and complimentary efforts of participating agencies covering key interrelated components of an enabling entrepreneurship ecosystem, such as mobilizing entrepreneurship potential, enhancing MSMEs access to innovation and technology, finance and markets, including at a policy level and at MSMEs level, and reaching out to most affected target groups, including women and informal workers. The project also includes a number of activities to facilitate green and sustainable recovery of the MSMEs.