Small and Medium Enterprises

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.

The 2015 ILO Report on SMEs and employment creation provides up-to-date evidence on the relevance of SMEs for employment, the key constraints faced by SMEs and their workers, and the effectiveness of measures to support this enterprise segment.

The unit offers the following six products under four product lines:

Building Entrepreneurship and Management Skills

  1. © Miriam Christensen

    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. © J. Silberberg/Panos Pictures

    Women's Entrepreneurship Development (WED)

    Gender-sensitive training and support services empowering women to start and run their own businesses.

  3. Entrepreneurship Education: "Know About Business" - KAB

    A training package to teach entrepreneurship in vocational, secondary, and tertiary schools, used in 56 countries of which 18 integrated KAB into national curricula, 2,3 Mio youth received KAB.

Providing Access to Markets

  1. Value Chain Development

    Interventions improving the functioning of entire markets or sectors that have the highest potential to create more and better jobs. This is complemented by a knowledge generation project - The LAB - producing more evidence on the labour market outcomes of value chain interventions.

Reforming the Enabling Environment

  1. Evidence-based Policy Development- 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.

Productivity and Working Conditions

  1. 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.