By Janelle M. Lewis, Principal Attorney, The Law Office of Janelle M. Lewis

Today, June 27th, 2017, is the first International Day of Micro-, Small, and Medium-Seized Enterprises as designated by the UN General Assembly on April 6th, 2017 through UN resolution A/RES/71/279.  In celebrating this day, I dedicate this article to the entrepreneurs of micro enterprises, small-enterprises and medium-enterprises; and the positive impact they have  on both domestic and global markets.

What are MSMEs?

While each country determines the criteria for defining the size of a business, the European Commission issued the following criteria to designate whether a business is a micro-enterprise, small-Enterprise, or a medium-Enterprise:

  • micro-enterprises usually have fewer than 10 employees and have an annual turnover or balance sheet below €2 million ($2,253,260)
  • small enterprises usually have fewer than 50 employees and an annual turnover or balance sheet below €10 million ($11,266,300)
  • medium-sized enterprises usually have fewer than 250 employees and annual turnover below €50 million ($56,331,500) or balance sheet below €43 million ($48,445,090).

Despite the various ways to categorize MSMEs, put together, MSMEs make up over 90% of all firms worldwide. 

Why did the UN General Assembly designate a day for Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs)?

Th UN General Assembly recognizes the important role of MSMEs play in achieving Sustainable Development Goals that foster economic growth, while promoting innovation, creativity and decent work. They also recognize the importance of promoting the participation and growth of MSMEs in international, regional and national markets, as they are the backbone of many economies throughout the world. Finally, the General Assembly recognizes the need for sustainable business practices and promoting the principles of responsible investing. It is among these reasons that the UN General Assembly has designated today, June 27th, 2017 the International Day of Micro-, Small, and Medium-Sized Enterprises.

 The positive benefits of MSMEs on Employment and GDP

According to the International Council for Small Business, MSMEs account 60-70% of employment worldwide, and make up 50% of global GDP. They are responsible for employment and income generation opportunities throughout the world. MSMEs have also been seen as alleviating poverty, and promoting development. In terms of employment equality, MSMEs provide a large share of employment opportunities for women, youth and people from poorer households. 

Overall, MSMEs play an integral role in the lives of hundreds of millions of people and provide positive economic growth and development to all countries, and especially those in the developing world. Let this day be a reminder to immense efforts of entrepreneurs in these enterprises, who help shape the global economic landscape.

The views expressed in this article do not constitute legal advice and legal information provided in this post should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please contact an Attorney for advice on your specific matter.