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Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which are the socio-economic backbone of most countries, have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Governments, development agencies, philanthropic foundations, and corporates have all announced several short-term measures to support MSMEs. Most of these welcome interventions are, however, largely stopgap arrangements at best. For the most part, they do not address the medium-term structural challenges and the fundamental vulnerabilities to future stresses that MSMEs will continue to face.In this report, we propose a new resilience framework—consisting of eight reinforcing themes that, in conjunction, can support MSMEs to address these medium-term challenges, thrive, and become resilient.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated and highlighted the inequities that perpetuate harmful outcomes for billions of people around the globe. A growing number of voices call for global leaders to seize this crisis as an opportunity to "rebuild better." However, this is easier said than done.How can leaders help markets achieve systemic transformations toward inclusion and equity?In this report, we provide guidance for philanthropic actors seeking to be more effective in supporting such changes in market systems, based on the Market System Innovation (MSI) approach first developed by FSG and the Rockefeller Foundation in 2017. Here, we share lessons from our work supporting partners across the globe in applying MSI in a range of real-world scenarios and offer practical suggestions for others involved in similar work.
Employers of frontline talent face an unprecedented opportunity to advance racial equity as a source of competitive advantage. The United States is experiencing dramatic demographic shifts, its workforce is becoming increasingly racially diverse, and the nature of work is fundamentally changing due to automation. Approximately nine million of the country's 24 million frontline employees—entry-level employees who engage closely with customers—are people of color who represent a reservoir of talent, innovative ideas, and multicultural competency that are increasingly sources of competitive advantage.At a time when there are rising societal expectations for companies to embrace a more active role in society and lead with an ambitious corporate purpose, employers face an unprecedented opportunity to advance racial equity as a source of competitive advantage by intentionally finding ways to advance the careers and enhance the experience of employees of color.Advancing Frontline Employees of Color, written in partnership with PolicyLink, identifies 23 evidence-based practices for advancing racial equity and fostering working environments where all people feel valued and can thrive.
The Pew Charitable Trusts;
This report from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlights practices for state programs aimed at expanding broadband access to un- and underserved areas.Based on interviews with more than three hundred representatives of state broadband programs, Internet service providers, local governments, and broadband coalitions, the report identified five promising and mutually reinforcing practices: stakeholder outreach and engagement at both the state and local levels; a policy framework with well-defined goals that connects broadband to other policy priorities; planning and capacity building in support of broadband infrastructure projects; funding and operations through grant programs, with an emphasis on accountability and data collection; and program evaluation and evolution to ensure that lessons learned inform the next iteration of goals and activities. The study explores how nine states — California, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin — have adapted and implemented different combinations of those practices to close gaps in broadband access.
Tiny Beam Fund;
HIGHLIGHTS: *Using information gathered from visits to field sites and interviews with farmers in 2019, the authors of this report or Guidance Memo document the challenges faced by socially and economically-marginalized women in the Northern Mountainous Region (NMR) of Vietnam who raise local or heritage pigs on small-scales to supplement their family income. *These women have been greatly affected by recent growth in industrial-scale pork production in Vietnam. *Moreover, the African Swine Fever crisis in northern Vietnam in mid/late 2019 threatens to put an end to raising local/heritage breeds on small scales in NMR. *But there is clear evidence that smaller-scale pork production in NMR is viable and is good socially, economically, environmentally, and for animal welfare. *A number of concrete, practical ways to support small-scale producers are suggested, from providing training in pig breeding to simple steps like teaching the small producers to use Facebook to attract customers.
The majority of women around the world work in low-paid positions, the informal economy, or in agriculture jobs with few protections. These are the sectors that are being worst hit by the economic impacts of COVID-19, and as the crisis drags on and worsens across the Global South, millions will be left without work, and in poverty.740 million women work in the informal sector, which has been worst hit by the economic fall out of the coronavirus. Furthermore women are less likely to benefit from recovery and stabilisation measures, as gender and social norms prohibit access to economic opportunities and financial resources.This study reveals how the global pandemic is having a real and immediate economic impact on women in the developing world. Here, 45 million women work in the garment industry, and face the loss of their sole income; while nearly 44 million female domestic workers across the world, and the tens of millions of poor rural women reliant on farming, can no longer access fields and livelihoods.
SeaChange Capital Partners;
The government distinguishes "large" from "small" organizations in many ways, though the most common is whether they have 500 or more employees. Nonprofits deemed "large" under this definition have been completely shut out of the two most important sources of COVID-19-related financial support: the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") and the Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program ("MSLP"). This is unfortunate because, while small nonprofits are collectively important, the large ones do most of the work.This is true not only in higher education and hospitals, but in other areas that support the well-being of communities including: shelters, emergency food distribution, mental health, hospice, foster care, nursing homes, and caring for the developmentally disabled. These large nonprofits are systemically important partners to state and local governments, and many are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. However, unless they receive immediate assistance, some will not make it through the next few months; few, if any, will survive without making drastic cuts to services that will be more vital than ever to our collective health, well-being, and safety during the COVID-19 crisis and its aftermath.Given the pressure on their budgets, and the difficulties that states and cities have in raising immediate funds from taxes or the capital markets, only the federal government has the scale of available resources to help large nonprofits. Fortunately, there is no need to develop an entirely new program; PPP and MSLP can be modified to get the job done.
West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI);
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are major drivers of socio-economic transformation in both the industrialised and developing world. According to estimates by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), they make up over 90% of business globally, 60% of global employment, and half of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of any economy. In Sub-Saharan Africa, Micro Small and Medium Enterprises account for over 95% of all business.. In Nigeria, many privately-run businesses are MSMEs. According to a recent national survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), there are a total of 41.5 million MSMEs in the country that provide 59.6 million Nigerians with employment – thereby making up over 85% of the national workforce. Citizens majorly drive these MSMEs at the bottom of the economic pyramid – many of whom start these enterprises as a means of survival. The rising unemployment rates in the country has further created a situation of rising inflation as well as the downsising of major corporations. As a result, the number of people going into business – mainly small and micro businesses as a means of survival continues to rise.
SAIS China-Africa Research Initiative;
From modest beginnings in 1960, China has recently become a highly visible actor in Africa's lending landscape. The World Bank recently released data on official debt to China in 37 African countries. We at CARI use this debt data, and our own new data on over 1,100 loan commitments across all of China's African borrowers, to analyze Chinese lending to Africa's risky borrowers.
The economic crisis caused by COVID-19 is intensifying the inequality that has plagued our economy for years. Tens of millions have lost their jobs or wages, and the people hardest hit are people of color and people in low wage jobs or with low levels of formal education. This crisis will mark an historic turn from the industrial to the digital economy where education and training will be necessary for many good jobs, threatening to leave behind those without the resources and support to access these opportunities. While degree programs are enormously important, they have not worked for all. Workers also need the choice of accessible, rapid, and affordable training that helps them to obtain better jobs with higher wages throughout their careers.The federal response has rightfully prioritized stabilizing incomes. Yet workers with a high school diploma or less lost 5.6 million jobs in the Great Recession out of 7.2 million total jobs erased. After the recession, those individuals recovered only 80,000 of those jobs lost between 2010 and 2016. To ensure that the current return to economic activity creates equal dignity for all workers, America needs major investments in training to create a system of adult learning for the digital economy. Without investments that give workers market power, millions are at risk of falling permanently behind. A bold federal commitment should address three goals.Identify training that leads to good jobs and help people pay for it.Expand online and employer-provided training.Empower people with well-informed coaches.
World Economic Forum;
Plastic pollution has become a pressing challenge with damaging effects on human health and environmental well-being. Many governments are seeking ways to decrease single-use plastics and firms are working towards developing more closed-loop plastics to build sustainable value chains. There remains, however, a pressing need to ramp up the "3Rs" – reduce, reuse, and recycle. There is an important cross-border component to doing so.
W.K. Kellogg Foundation;
As 14 TRHT places approach the fourth year of implementation, these seven knowledge briefs share progress on what has been learned so far in the 14 TRHT places – offering a glimpse into the opportunities, nuances and complexities of implementing a community-based TRHT.