In the March/April 2015 issue of ISOfocus, we look at how SMEs promote diversification of economic activities, support sustainable development, stimulate innovation and develop entrepreneurial skills, while contributing significantly to exports and trade. We also look at why International Standards are of economic importance, and how SMEs (despite all obstacles) stand to gain most from their use.
Small business is – quite frankly – big business. It is estimated that more than 90 % of the world’s businesses are SMEs. Surprised? Don't be. SMEs are, on average, the businesses that are generating growth, creating jobs, growing faster and innovating more. But most of all, they are a good deal less complicated (structurally) and therefore can be more efficient and flexible than are large firms.
Providing effective small-business support should be a keystone of any economy and helping them reap the benefits of using standards should be one of the focus areas. It will require new ways of working together across public and private sectors and an openness to innovative ideas and models. Crucially, though, it implies taking into account the best practices already serving small businesses around the world. And there are some great examples featured in this issue!
One thing is certain: International Standards are one of the building blocks that help enterprises of all shapes and sizes to work more efficiently, increase productivity and access new markets, while vitalizing and strengthening the economy.
Isn’t it time we all embrace the small-business community? By doing so, we actively facilitate the positive growth of both our economy and, most importantly, our society as a whole.