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WSF Programs

Advocacy & Research

Advisory Services

Digital Trade & ePlatforms


SMEs and entrepreneurship

SMEs and entrepreneurship

OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019

OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook 2019

Think Big for Small Small and Medium Enterprises as Pillar for Future-oriented, Sustainable Growth

more resources on SMEs

Latest News & Events

WSF Advocacy & Research

The World SME Forum aims to provide SMEs with effective representation, founded on well-established and fact-based research, to ensure that the economic interests of the global community of SME businesses are more effectively represented in the deliberations of international governance bodies. Partnering with IFIs and development agencies, and with membership from associations working in the SME space and chambers from all over the world, WSF will advance the recognition of the role of SMEs in the global economy, by aiming to be represented in international bodies such as G20, APEC, ASEAN, and other regional blocs; global standard setting entities; and relevant agencies of the United Nations that either directly or indirectly affect, or aim to affect SME performance and development.

At the urging of several business leaders during the 2015 B20 process, the WSF’s first Advocacy & Research activities will be focused on:

  • A glossary of definitions of SMEs in various national and global context - to facilitate effective targeting of policies and programs focused on the SMEs.
  • An evaluation of the impact of the latest financial regulations/decisions by global standard setters such as BIS/FSB, etc. on the development and growth of SMEs.
  • And a study on the most relevant constraints generated by cross border trade regulations on the SMEs’ export potential.

WSF Advisory Services

WSF offers advisory services and technical assistance to chambers of commerce and SME associations on standards, certification, credit reporting and scoring, and linkages to global value chains. WSF’s programs are aligned with 2015 Turkey B20 recommendations and the ongoing discussions of the 2016 China B20 SME Development Taskforce as follows:

  • While the importance of credit information is well understood and credit reporting systems are present in many countries, SME credit reporting remains nascent in many countries. WSF is initiating work to strengthen the knowledge base for SME credit reporting; in a second stage, together with other partners, WSF will contribute to technical assistance activities to strengthen SME credit reporting systems globally.
  • One of the main challenges faced by SMEs is to participate in Global Value Chains (GVC). Many SMEs already see the importance of global expansion as a source of sustained growth. But GVCs are particularly sensitive to the quality and efficiency of services, and standards are often lower in emerging markets. WSF is initiating a technical assistance program for SMEs on certification and standards which will include a comprehensive, country-delivered one-stop-shop endorsement system that leverages existing national, regional and international standards. Underpinning this endorsement guide will be an awareness raising and technical assistance program to help SMEs understand what is needed to accelerate their links to GVCs, that would be embedded into, and delivered through, the eWSF

Digital Trade & ePlatforms

The digital economy is presenting SMEs with one of the biggest opportunities in decades, but unfortunately SMEs are not in the position to take full advantage of it. In order to reap the full benefit of the digital economy, WSF is supporting SMEs to prepare for and transition to the new, unfolding, digital world.Through its ePlatform programs, WSF aims to inform SMEs and sensitize them to the potentials and challenges of the digital economy, in full alignment with the G20’s new agenda to prepare the international economic environment for the New Industrial Revolution. This is a complex agenda, and WSF is taking a multi-pronged approach to make it happen by:

  • Representing the SMEs’ interests through targeted advocacy in global policy debates, initiatives and fora that have the potential to shape digital trade and strategies going forward, such as UNCTAD's Aid for eTrade, the current B20 discussions on the creation of the World eTrade Platform, and the agenda of the World Trade Board.
  • Hands-on engagement in country to country pilots, such as an ongoing China-Turkey pilot project to boost SMEs’ eTrade, which includes awareness campaigns, capacity building on SME digital strategies, and direct matchmaking through digital platforms and cross-border eCommerce experiment zones.
  • Creation of an SME-targeted global online platform, eWSF, to boost opportunities for SMEs in the digital economy. e-WSF will be a one-stop-shop for SMEs to: (i) increase their access to finance; (ii) increase their access to skills, training, knowledge, innovation, expertise and information; and, (iii) increase SME matchmaking opportunities in their Global Value Chains (GVC).

What's New?

The Unique Needs of SMEs in Corporate Distress

Read blog

The Digital Transformation of SMEs

Read report

The B20 Inception Meeting agenda for the Open Public Session on the 21st of January and the Closed Door Event on the 22nd of January are accessible on the B20 Website

B20 policy recommendations to the G20

The World SME Forum, as a member of the 2020 Saudi B20, is pleased to note that the B20 policy recommendations to the G20 has specific reference to support access to digitalization, finance, markets and knowledge which are necessary for enabling SMEs, globally - that is the motto of the WSF.

SME Competitiveness Outlook 2020

ITC launches 15-point plan to help small businesses survive the pandemic

Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are the backbone of developing economies − ITC has a plan to help them to recover and rebuild in the wake of COVID19