Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Day

MSMEs: The backbone of economies and the world of work

ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo's statement reaffirms the ILO's commitment to supporting Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and ensuring their resilience in the face of multiple crises, climate change, and economic uncertainties.

Date issued: 27 June 2023 | Size/duration: 2:02

Micro, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises are the backbone of economies worldwide and of the world of work.

They employ more than two thirds of the global workforce, and they contribute significantly to GDP growth.

As a result, they play a key role in reducing poverty, narrowing inequalities and creating decent and productive employment and achieving social justice.

However, many struggle with low productivity and poor working conditions.

Often operating in tough business environments, including in the large informal economy, many find it difficult to access resources and opportunities.

Women and young people working in these enterprises face additional constraints and discrimination.

It is our collective responsibility to help break down these barriers and foster an environment in which MSMEs can operate successfully.

The International Labour Organization is doing its part, helping governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations create market access, build sustainable capacities, and promote formalization and decent work.

This is particularly important, as MSMEs continue to address challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change and uncertainties in the world economy.

On this MSME Day, I am therefore reaffirming the ILO’s commitment to work with its partners around the world to enable these enterprises to thrive.