Small and Medium Enterprises Unit

In line with the decent work agenda of the ILO, the Small and Medium Enterprises Unit seeks to unlock the potential of creating more and better jobs in small businesses - a sector where the bulk of employment is being provided.

SME resilience-Covid-19 resources

The COVID 19 pandemic will have a strong effect on labour markets worldwide. Especially in developing economies, where more than 70% of the workforce is in self-employment or works in micro, and small enterprises... (read more)

1. Entrepreneurship and Management Skills

  1. Start and Improve Your Business - SIYB

    A set of training packages for different groups ranging from a first orientation for potential start-ups to in-depth training for existing enterprises, offered in more than 100 countries with more than 6 Mio participants over the last ten years.

  2. Women's Entrepreneurship Development (WED)

    Training and support services for women who wish to start and run their businesses, with a gender perspective that contributes to their empowerment.

2. Productivity and Working Conditions

  1. The Productivity Ecosystems for Decent Work Programme

    A new Programme to address constraints to productivity growth and decent job creation. The Programme will address productivity and decent work deficits across policy, sector and enterprise levels for win-win solutions that improve productivity and decent work outcomes.

  2. Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises - SCORE

    Training and in-factory counseling for medium sized companies from emerging markets producing for large international buyers, covering issues such as workplace cooperation, quality management, and occupational safety and health.

3. Enterprise Formalization

  1. Enterprise Formalization

    Advisory services and support on how to reduce informality and facilitate a transition of enterprises to formality, as a way to create more and better jobs.

4. Access to Markets

  1. SCI - Systems Change Initiative for productive employment

    The Systems Change Initiative (SCI) is one of four cross-cutting pillars in the Sida-ILO Partnership (2022–25). The SCI builds on and applies a market systems development (MSD) approach to create decent work and productive employment opportunities for the working poor. The SCI follows in the footsteps of the Lab initiative, funded by SECO, which closed in 2020, and which aimed to generate and apply knowledge on how MSD can lead to sustainable decent work.

  2. Value Chain Development

    Interventions improving the functioning of entire markets or sectors that have the highest potential to create more and better jobs.

  3. Approach to Inclusive Market Systems (AIMS) for Refugees and Host Communities

5. Enabling Environment Reform

  1. Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises

    Advisory services on how to assess the environment in which businesses operate, as well as to formulate, implement, and monitor reform proposals.