The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) during its 74th Plenary session held on April 6, 2017 declared June 27 as Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises or MSME Day, underlining the significance of the sector, especially in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs).
What are Micro Small and Medium Enterprises?
Any business unit where there are less than 10 employees and its annual turnover is not more than Rs 25 lakh, is called a micro enterprise.
A small enterprise is one where there are less than 50 employees and the investment in plant and machinery is more than Rs 25 lakh but does not exceed Rs 5 crore.
A medium enterprise is an establishment where the investment in plant and machinery is more than Rs 5 crore but does not exceed Rs 10 crore. Also the number of employees in such a unit should be less than 250.
The definition of an MSME depends on several factors like nature of business, socio-economic structure of the particular country and the country's population.
These enterprises play an important role in providing employment opportunities to people, especially in developing countries. They also help in poverty alleviation and give a thrust to development and help in employment of women and youth.
How do they help in achieving Sustainable Development Goals?
MSMEs through innovation and creativity help in achieving (SDGs). SDG targets 8.3 and 9.3 call for enhancing the access of MSMEs to financial services. In addition to this, SMEs are an important element in the implementation of SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure.