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Reaching out to Small and Medium Enterprises

The mandate of all employers' organizations (EOs) is to represent and support the interests of its members, be they large, medium or small enterprises. Unfortunately in some cases, EOs are not fully representative of small and medium enterprise (SMEs), which often make-up more than 90 per cent of enterprises in their countries. These EOs tend to be orientated to the needs of larger enterprises and do not reach out to SMEs, and the SMEs sensing that the EO is for big businesses, are not inclined to join.

The purpose of this electronic toolkit is to change that. It has been developed jointly by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Organisation of Employers (IOE) to foster the inclusion of the interests and concerns of SMEs into all aspects of the operations and activities of employers' organizations (EOs). But this kit does not only carry a message; it also gives support to that message by suggesting how that engagement with SMEs can be achieved and what are some of the tools needed to achieve that objective.

The toolkit is part of a broader effort on the part of the ILO, together with the IOE, to strengthen the capacities and expand the activities of employers' organizations around the world, but notably in developing and transitional countries. As such, the ILO's Bureau for Employers' Activities has also produced a four-part package called The Effective Employers' Organizations. The guides contained in that package focus on governance, strategic planning, advocacy and revenue-building. That package and this toolkit complement each other and can be used together to strengthen EOs and to broaden their outreach among SMEs.

This toolkit is designed for the managers, directors and staff of employers' organizations (and other business associations) that want to fully represent employers – all employers – in their respective countries.

For further information or to order a copy of the CD-ROM please contact us.

Download instruction - (1) Click on the link; (2) Download the "" file to a directory on your hard disk; (3) Unpack all files; (4) Run the "start.exe" file. Please note that the program works under MS/Windows and needs a decompressing software like WinZip.

Electronic toolkit for employers' organizations

Last update: 20.09.2012 ^ top