From trade to production to investment to employment, every aspect of the global economy has been negatively impacted by COVID-19. As a result, the OECD forecasts that global economic activity will fall by 6 to 7.6% in 2020 depending on whether or not a second wave hits.
Alongside this, the ILO reports an astonishing 305 million full-time jobs will be lost in the 2nd quarter of this year, and 38% of the world’s workforce – some 1.25 billion workers – are employed in sectors that are deemed high-risk.
This is extremely worrying news.
But, there are reasons to be optimistic. Building Markets has worked with over 25,000 remarkable small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in some of the world’s most challenging markets. We have helped these businesses access opportunity – and watched their extraordinary successes, including creating over 70,000 full-time jobs.
This is not surprising as entrepreneurs and SMEs are the bedrock of any market and possess incredible drive. Worldwide, they make up approximately 90% of all businesses and provide more than 50% of all employment. In developing countries, they account for over 80% of net job creation.
These SMEs will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic, particular those that live in early stage markets where responding to shocks will be far more difficult. Ensuring they have the visibility and resources needed to survive, grow and thrive is more important than ever.
In light of this, in the coming week, Building Markets will be marking World MSME day (June 27th) by talking about the power of small business to unleash innovation, create jobs, and fuel economic growth around the world. We want to share our stories, elevate and applaud the trailblazing SMEs we work with, and highlight their achievements and potential.
If you own, work with, support or are supported by an SME, you can help raise awareness by sharing your story using the hashtag #SmallBusinessBigImpact.
Global poverty is rising for the first time in decades, but access to economic opportunity can help families build thriving lives. Responding to the urgency of this moment, a group of generous donors will match every dollar up to $100,000 raised through December 31, 2022. Your gift will enable Building Markets to adapt and scale our programs to reach more small businesses creating critical jobs around the world.
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