SMEs- Let get Smarter, shall we?

Professor Rehman Sobhan asked a thought provoking question this afternoon- we have been talking about SME development and the problems facing SMEs for decades now. “What was being discussed 55 years ago, is still a point of discussion,” he said.

It is true, the number of studies and projects under the banner of “Barriers of SME development” are countless. And we can all gather to discuss about registration issues, operational issues, access to finance, quality of labour, skills development, investments and more. There is no end to this discourse. But, perhaps it is time to address this issues in smarter ways.

What can we do in smarter ways? Perhaps, not come up with a long list of mega plans and pick out arena which cannot be achieved against the backdrop of our business environments. Perhaps a start could be structuring processes, initiating business advisory services, initiating processes of linking micro level businesses. What are we really good at?

If our governments are not going to be working on a mega implementation of our national SME strategies, industrial policies, can we perhaps begin to advocate for smaller outcomes such as setting up business advisory services- initiating a process of instilling basic business ideas in micro levels such as accounting, planning, marketing. Food for thought.