The ILO Office for the United Nations participates in commemoration of the second annual "MSMEs Day"

The Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and commemorated by the UN system on June 27 with the aim to highlight the important role of MSMEs (enterprises which generally employ less than 250 people) in the economies of both developed and developing countries. This year’s theme focused on the youth dimension of MSMEs.

The Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day was organized by the International Trade Centre (ITC) and commemorated by the UN system on June 27 with the aim to highlight the important role of MSMEs (enterprises which generally employ less than 250 people) in the economies of both developed and developing countries. This year’s theme focused on the youth dimension of MSMEs.

During the commemoration in New York, Mr. Farid Hegazy, ILO’s Global Coordinator for Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises, focused on the role of MSMEs in conflict and crisis situations, both of which were on the rise and disproportionately impact youth.

Mr. Hegazy stressed that economic development, with its attendant income and employment opportunities, was necessary to build peace. Economic activity provides an opportunity to work on common goals together and positive alternatives to taking up arms.

In crisis situations, MSMEs often step-in to help speed in rebuilding and recovery efforts long before fragile states are able to respond. Mr. Hegazy pointed to a program in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake in which employment opportunities were created in the management and recycling of debris, thus helping to revitalize a hard hit population and economy. The initiative, in which ILO was a partner, generated 766 micro-enterprises and over 100,000 hours of work for the local population.

The commemorative meeting showed the tremendous potential of MSMEs in generating positive economic, peacebuilding, and disaster recovery impacts. MSMEs are an important driver of employment opportunities for youth and also promote empowerment, Mr. Hegazy stated.