The International Council for Small Business (ICSB), founded n 1955, is the oldest and largest non-profit organization promoting entrepreneurship and micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) worldwide. ICSB polled its global experts to help identify the 2018 Top Ten Trends for MSMES. ICSB predicts that 2018 will be a very positive year for the majority of MSMEs and with a higher level increase of support from governments. These Top Ten Trends below is a list of what MSMEs need to prepare for and utilize in their businesses.
NUMBER 10 TREND : MSMEs TO MEET THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)
INSIGHT: MSMEs are the fabric of communities, reaching many sustainable development goals without realizing it. Yet, they can be empowered to do more. MSMEs can become the measuring stick of how we are achieving SDGs.
ICSB RECOMMENDATION: MSMEs should make the SDGs a prominent feature to demonstrate why consumers should buy from them to further support the SDGs. If a consumer sees an MSME engaged in the SDGs, they will further support it. Like buying organic or recycling, MSMEs should allow consumers to contribute to a sustainable world.
NUMBER 9 TREND: SMEs: DOING GOOD AND DOING WELL CAN CO-EXIST!
INSIGHT: This is also known as social entrepreneurship. Yet, why give it a label if this can be the norm? MSMEs should have social entrepreneurship as a standard operating procedure and not a diversion from their core business strategy.
ICSB RECOMMENDATION: Educators, policy-makers, and consultants should educate, encourage, and assist MSMEs to develop the framework for this new operating model.
NUMBER 8 TREND: A GROWING ECONOMY REQUIRES A FORMAL ECONOMY
INSIGHT: Bringing businesses from the informal to the formal economy must occur through incentives, not threats. The best way to attract MSMEs is through direct benefits, such as loans, government contracts, and access to the global marketplace.
ICSB RECOMMENDATION: Governments need to propose a set of clear and enticing incentives to encourage informal companies to switch. Until then, it is a missed opportunity for both parties.
NUMBER 7 TREND: GROWTH IS EASIER THAN EVER FOR MSMEs
INSIGHT: MSMEs now have the opportunity to expand their reach and influence through more mediums than ever before. If you have a website, you are a global _rm. If you accept online payments, you can export. The impediments to grow are shrinking every day. However, competition and the ability to build a successful strategy is increasing daily.
ICSB RECOMMENDATION: Plan to grow your business through smart strategies that leverage today’s technology and ease of doing business. If you do not have a plan, someone else will steal your customers.
NUMBER 6 TREND: MSMEs TO ADJUST FOR DISRUPTION
INSIGHT: Unforeseen events will happen; how MSMEs adjust to them will determine their long-term survival and effectiveness. SMEs must plan to handle unexpected disruptions more quickly and creatively. A contingency plan is no longer optional.
ICSB RECOMMENDATION: MSMEs should build contingency plans to accommodate major temporary disruptions in to their operations. This is done through preplanning and not after the fact.