The G20 summit is currently taking place by the hosted country, Italy. The event occuring in Rome over two days, Oct 30 and 31, has many subjects to focus on. However, the opening speeches were centered towards SMEs and Women Owned Businesses.
PM Mario Draghi and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands put an emphasis on the development of SMEs. The speeches encompassed the fact that ressources are hard to acquire for such businesses that are a positive asset to the economies of their countries.
“Our economies thrive on the ingenuity and the hard work of their employees and entrepreneurs“PM Mário Draghi
SMEs – Small & Medium Enterprises
SMEs have been shown to bring forth innovation and to create jobs. It is common knowledge that, the COVID-19 pandemic was a hard hit for SMEs on a global scale. Many businesses closed but never opened again. Many restaurants and other types of SMEs, were not able to maintain enough business to reopen once the quarantine was lifted.
Many SMEs “faced a sharp drop in revenue which led to liquidity shortages”PM Mário Draghi
One aspect of the side event targeted towards SMEs and Women Owned Businesses, was the digital aspect of the business. PM Mario Draghi said that “during the pandemic they [SMEs] struggled to find new customers because of their lower digital literacy“.
As such, Governments plan to help SMEs become more competitive through digitalization in order to help them acquire more business but also to help the SMEs branch out.
SMEs contribute two thirds of national income and more than half of employment world wide.H. M Queen of the Netherlands
Women Owned Businesses
As regards to Women entrepreneurs, Women Owned Businesses, they were the one hit the hardest during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is in part due to gender inequality. Women face more limited access to loans than men. Their access to credit and markets is still very limited.
The pandemic also forced women entrepreneurs to spend more time as mothers rather than business owners since schools were closed. The time needed to be used to spend with the family or the children was a huge problem for most women entrepreneurs.
Queen Maxima of the Netherlands pointed out three areas of actions which apply to all SMEs and that could help the businessed grow. One of them was again, Digitalization : SMEs lack the use of digitalization which results in the loss of opportunities.