For the past 15 years, we’ve worked to help build the capacity of SMEs around the globe—from beekeepers in St. Lucia to digital animation firms in Nigeria, from agribusiness providers in Rwanda to Web developers in Ukraine. One thing that’s become clear from our work in more than 40 countries on 5 continents is that micro, small, and medium enterprises worldwide face a core set of challenges.
Whenever we engage in a workshop or focus group with micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in emerging markets, the participants try to make the case that their businesses face unique challenges: it’s harder to register a new business in their city, their business-enabling environment is more challenging than in other countries, women entrepreneurs may face specific cultural hurdles, local corruption may be more intractable, the infrastructure (electricity, roads, etc.) may pose greater challenges.
These types of obstacles are very real, and it’s true that they vary substantially from market to market.
But despite these sorts of market-specific differences, our team at Emerging360 still believes that at a foundational level, SMEs everywhere face a common set of challenges.
And by the end of every training we’ve ever done for MSMEs or MSME service providers worldwide, the participants have come to appreciate these commonalities as well.