SocialJustice

SocialJustice

ICSB Joins Global Coalition for Social Justice in Unified Effort

In a significant move towards bolstering global efforts for social justice, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) has officially joined The Global Coalition for Social Justice. This groundbreaking initiative aims to amplify collective endeavors in urgently addressing social justice deficits and accelerating the implementation of key global agendas, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the Decent Work Agenda.

Expressing admiration for the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) pivotal role in advancing social justice, decent work, and sustainable development, the ICSB emphasizes its strong partnership with the ILO, marked by collaborative initiatives, including those in Egypt. Recent collaborations with key figures such as Mr. Dragan Radic, Chief of the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Branch of the ILO, and Amber Barth, Director of the ILO Office for the United States and Canada, have further solidified the commitment to address crucial intersections of trade and labor rights, ensuring protection and resilience for MSMEs and their employees.

Aligned with shared values and aspirations, the ICSB formally announces its membership in the Coalition, leveraging its expertise in MSMEs to contribute significantly to its objectives. With a focus on leading thematic areas such as trade and labor in MSMEs, the ICSB aims to drive positive change by leveraging experience and networks.

Moreover, the ICSB pledges to spearhead initiatives to significantly advance social justice, particularly by safeguarding and enhancing resilience for MSMEs and their employees. Whether pursued independently or in collaboration with partners, these initiatives underscore the commitment to fostering a more equitable and inclusive global society.

In response to the ICSB’s commitment to the Global Coalition for Social Justice, Dr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President & CEO of ICSB, stated, “Our collaboration with the Global Coalition for Social Justice underscores our unwavering dedication to advancing social justice and fostering a more inclusive global society. Through collective action and collaboration, we are poised to make meaningful strides towards a world where every individual, regardless of background, has the opportunity to thrive.”

2024SMENumberOneTrend

2024SMENumberOneTrend

Top Ten Trends for 2024 for Small Businesses

Envision the future business landscape as a dynamic tableau pulsating with the vibrant hues of technology, entrepreneurship, and adaptability. The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) cordially invites you to embark on an exhilarating exploration into the realm of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) worldwide in 2024.

 

 

Our expedition is not a mere conjecture but is firmly rooted in rigorous analysis and forecasting. We are devoted to unraveling the complex patterns of the global business ecosystem. Our unique strength lies in the active involvement of our dedicated members and board members, who generously contribute their insights and expertise. They are the master weavers of this vibrant tapestry, enriching our comprehensive understanding of the business landscape.

 

 

Our two flagship journals are pivotal in unveiling trends based on the research submitted and consumed within our community. These insights become the threads we intertwine into our understanding, enabling us to engage with partners, including major multinational organizations. Through this collective endeavor, we glean profound insights into the trends that will sculpt the business world in the forthcoming years.

 

 

As a vanguard in global entrepreneurship research and practice, ICSB is delighted to present our annual publication, ‘Top Ten Trends for MSMEs in 2024.’ This compilation spins an intriguing narrative around enduring principles and innovative ideas shaping the entrepreneurial journey in the upcoming year. Each trend represents a valuable nugget of knowledge meticulously curated by our team.

 

 

So, what is the Number One trend for MSMEs in 2024? ICSB reveals:

 

 

Number One Trend for 2024: MSMEs Forming Collaborative Alliances.

 

 

The paramount trend for 2024 redefines the landscape of MSMEs, highlighting the formation of Collaborative Alliances—an age-old concept rejuvenated with fresh vitality. It emerges as the #1 Trend for MSMEs, offering a transformative path forward for several compelling reasons. Businesses acknowledge the undeniable strength of unity in an era marked by economic uncertainties and disruptions. Like a multitude of Davids facing Goliath-sized challenges, MSMEs are now banding together, pooling their resources, expertise, and market insights to form a formidable force. This collective strength enables them to negotiate better terms, penetrate untapped markets, and weather market fluctuations with greater resilience than they could achieve as standalone entities.

 

 

Collaborative Alliances transcend mere resource consolidation; they foster a culture of innovation and cross-pollination of ideas. Within these alliances, members bring complementary expertise to the table, sparking collective problem-solving and a relentless pursuit of improvement. This collaborative ethos not only optimizes resource allocation and reduces operational costs but also bolsters the individual resilience of businesses in the face of unpredictable challenges. These alliances wield substantial influence by uniting their voices in advocacy for favorable policies and regulations, actively molding the business environment to serve their collective interests.

 

 

In essence, Collaborative Alliances symbolize the evolution of MSMEs, empowering them to thrive, innovate, and navigate the complexities of today’s dynamic business world with the strength derived from unity.

 

2023Farewell

2023Farewell

Farewell to 2023 – Glimpse into 2024

As we bid farewell to 2023, reflecting on the year characterized by challenges and opportunities is essential. The world grappled with new tensions, high energy costs, and the persistence of COVID-19 variants. These difficulties, coupled with the ongoing consequences of the pandemic, urged governments and businesses to seek innovative solutions. Two themes consistently stood out throughout this tumultuous period: resilience and frugality.

Resilience and Frugality in the Face of Adversity

2022, these themes began to emerge, and they remained at the forefront in 2023. The global community recognized that resilience, the ability to adapt to change and withstand disruptions, and frugality, the practice of doing more with less, were indispensable qualities in navigating these uncertain times.

 

The Role of MSMEs and Humane Entrepreneurship

Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship emerged as guiding lights in the journey to recovery. Deep-rooted in their local communities, MSMEs leveraged their connections to practice frugal innovation and seek complete recovery.

 

ICSB Predicted Top Trends of 2023

Despite the challenges, there were bright spots on the horizon. Here are some of the top trends that ICSB proposed that shaped 2023:


1- Digital Transformation Acceleration: The pandemic accelerated digital transformation efforts, with businesses embracing technology for remote work, e-commerce, and operational efficiency.


2- Sustainability and ESG: Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) considerations gained prominence, with businesses recognizing the importance of sustainability and social responsibility.


3- Resilient Supply Chains: Global supply chain vulnerabilities led to a shift toward more resilient and localized supply networks.


4- Entrepreneurship Ecosystems: Governments and organizations prioritized nurturing entrepreneurship ecosystems to support startups and small businesses, fostering innovation and economic growth.


5- Hybrid Work Models: The hybrid work model, combining remote and in-office work, became the norm, requiring businesses to adapt to this new reality.


6- Healthtech and Biotech Innovation: Rapid innovation in healthcare and biotechnology continued to address health challenges through telemedicine, digital health solutions, and biotech advancements.

7- Resurgence of Local Businesses: Consumers rallied behind local businesses, driving demand for unique products and personalized services.

 

A Glimpse into 2024

While predicting the future remains uncertain, certain principles will continue to guide us. Adaptability, innovation, and sustainability will remain paramount. As we move forward, the lessons learned in 2023 will shape our approach to an ever-evolving world. In embracing change and seizing emerging opportunities, businesses and individuals will chart a course toward a promising future. The resilience of MSMEs and the principles of Humane Entrepreneurship will continue to illuminate the path forward.

NewSilkRoad

NewSilkRoad

Baku: From the Silk Road to the Entrepreneurship Road

Dr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President & CEO of ICSB and Deputy-Chair at GW School of Business, launched the inaugural plenary session of the SME World Forum Research Day at the esteemed ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 15, 2023, with a groundbreaking proposal. He introduced a revolutionary concept, marking the next evolution from the historic Silk Road to what he termed “The Entrepreneurship Road.” Dr. ElTarabishy emphasized the significance of honoring our past while boldly stepping into the future. He passionately argued that the Entrepreneurship Road represents this new journey, leading us toward uncharted territories and exciting possibilities.


The Evolution of Baku: Embracing Global Changes


Baku, a city steeped in history and once a crucial node on the ancient Silk Road, is transforming remarkably. It’s emerging as a guiding light on the newly minted “Entrepreneurship Road.” This metamorphosis represents far more than a mere renaming; it’s a deep-rooted shift in perspective, aligning with the ever-evolving global landscape and the myriad of opportunities it presents.


Where the Silk Road was synonymous with trade and the intertwining of diverse cultures, the Entrepreneurship Road encapsulates a more contemporary ethos. It embodies the dynamic and innovative spirit of today’s youth, poised to tackle the unique challenges of our planet. This new path reflects a world where entrepreneurial endeavors are not just about economic gains but also about addressing environmental concerns, social inequalities, and the sustainability of our world.


The Entrepreneurship Road, therefore, is not just a route but a journey towards a more resilient and equitable future. It’s a call to action for the young and old alike to innovate, collaborate, and create solutions for a better world. In Baku, this road is taking shape through initiatives that merge tradition with technology heritage with modernity, creating a model for cities worldwide to follow. With its focus on sustainable development and inclusive growth, this road is paving the way for future generations to thrive. 


Guided by the Stars: The 17 SDGs and ESG


Looking up at the vast night sky, we find a profound reminder that we are accompanied by guiding lights along the Entrepreneurship Road. These are celestial stars, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and vital principles such as Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria. These SDGs, from eradicating poverty to ensuring environmental sustainability, serve as beacons, illuminating our entrepreneurial path with purpose and direction.


Similarly, ESG criteria inject a sense of ethical responsibility into business practices, ensuring that companies are profitable and accountable for their environmental impact and social contributions. As entrepreneurs and innovators travel this road, these guiding stars provide a balanced approach, intertwining economic growth with sustainable and equitable practices.


Together, the SDGs and ESG criteria form a celestial map, helping us navigate the complexities of modern business and ensuring that our entrepreneurial pursuits align with the greater good. They remind us that our endeavors should contribute positively to the planet and its inhabitants, safeguarding resources and opportunities for future generations. As we venture down the Entrepreneurship Road, these goals and principles light our way, ensuring a journey that is not only successful but also sustainable and socially responsible. 


Centering on the Human: ICSB’s Vision


ICSB’s commitment to Humane Entrepreneurship forms the soil of the Entrepreneurship Road, centering on the human element in business. This concept extends beyond traditional business metrics, focusing on nurturing human potential and well-being. It’s a holistic approach where economic success is intertwined with social and environmental responsibility. The Entrepreneurship Road, underpinned by this philosophy, becomes a journey of economic growth, human development, and ethical business practices. Here, the success of entrepreneurial ventures is measured not only by their financial outcomes but also by their impact on people’s lives and the broader society. This road is charting a new course in business, where the ultimate goal is to create a sustainable, inclusive world that values human dignity and well-being at every step.


Sustainability and Circular Economy: Legacy for Future Generations


Sustainability and adopting circular economy principles are fundamental components of the Entrepreneurship Road, especially as it unfolds in Baku. This approach is not just about meeting the needs of the present; it’s a commitment to future generations. In embracing these sustainable practices, Baku sets a precedent for responsible and efficient resource utilization, ensuring that economic growth does not come at the expense of environmental health or social equity.


The circular economy model, which emphasizes resource reuse, recycling, and regeneration, is crucial in this journey. It challenges the traditional linear economy of “take-make-waste” and proposes a system where waste is minimized and resources are continuously cycled back into the economy. This reduces environmental impact and offers economic opportunities for new markets and job creation.


In Baku, integrating these principles into the Entrepreneurship Road is paving the way for a more resilient and sustainable urban development. It’s about creating a city where businesses thrive by innovating to enhance environmental stewardship and social well-being. 


Conclusion: A New Path Forward


The transition from the Silk Road to the Entrepreneurship Road represents a seamless and thrilling evolution in entrepreneurship. This shift marks not just a change in concept but an inspiring new direction, particularly for the youth. The Entrepreneurship Road is more than a mere pathway; it’s a destination with possibilities, shaping a future where young minds are at the forefront of innovation and progress. It’s a journey that emphasizes the importance of nurturing and focusing on the next generation, as they are the ones who will drive us forward on this exciting new road.


Written by:

Dr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President & CEO, ICSB

Contributions by:
Ambassador Oh Joon, Former Korean Ambassador to the UN and the 71st President of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)

Winslow Sargeant, Immediate Past Chai, ICSB

Vicky Stylianou, Incoming Chair, ICSB, Executive General Manager, Institute of Public Accountants, Australia

SBHNov2023

SBHNov2023

Small Business Horizon November 2023 Issue
AI Revolution and the Future Ahead

In the newest issue of Small Business Horizon Magazine (SBH), we are excited to present a fascinating feature that intersects the evolution of technology with the timeless appeal of music. Artificial intelligence has now reached the realm of cultural nostalgia, reviving the music of The Beatles and John Lennon for the ears of a modern audience.


Latest Magazine Issue: https://issuu.com/aymanelt/docs/sbhnovember2023


This technological masterpiece reflects an unprecedented collaboration between artificial intelligence and the arts. AI, having delved into the rich musical archives of The Beatles and Lennon, has emerged with a creation that marries the band’s and the artist’s signature elements with contemporary flair. By processing their intricate songwriting patterns, distinctive melodies, and harmonies, the AI has managed to produce a song that simultaneously harkens back to the Beatles’ and Lennon’s groundbreaking era and appeals to today’s listeners.


Our latest SBH magazine explores how this synthesis of AI and musical genius not only pays homage to John Lennon’s influential legacy but also signals a new era where technology redefines the boundaries of creative expression. As we reflect on Lennon’s impact, which transcended music and touched upon the themes of peace, love, and social consciousness, this AI endeavor is a powerful testament to his enduring influence.


Join us in this newest issue as SBH delves into innovative developments, celebrating how small businesses and the broader entrepreneurial ecosystem can draw inspiration from such cross-disciplinary innovations. Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy, our esteemed Editor and an advocate for small business dynamism, invites you to explore how the revolutionary spirit of figures like John Lennon continues to inspire and how it can inform the future of small business strategy and innovation.

USATopSME2023

USATopSME2023

The United States 2023 Top Small Businesses

On October 19, 2023, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce held its first America’s Top Small Business gala to honor this year’s seven regional finalists, who were chosen from a pool of nearly 15,000 applicants, and also announced the grand prize winner, who took home the $25,000 cash prize! 

ICSB recognizes the U.S. Chamber initiative and congratulates all the finalists and winner.

The U.S. Chamber announced that our 2023 grand prize winner for America’s Top Small Business:


Winner: Elderly Instruments of Lansing, Michigan!

Elderly Instruments, our Great Lakes region finalist, is a family-owned music shop with a mission of being a welcoming musical haven where all people, regardless of their background or musical experience, can play and purchase affordable, quality fretted instruments and accessories at great prices.

Now on its second generation of leadership, Lillian Werbin, daughter of co-founder Stan Werbin, runs the establishment with a staff of nearly 40 full-time employees and remains dedicated to valuing not only her team but also her community, taking part in revitalizing Old Town Lansing and actively supporting both national and local nonprofit initiatives that lift the voices of the LGBTQ+ community and people of color within the bluegrass genre.

[Read more about Elderly Instruments here: Elderly Instruments Aims to Be a ‘Conservator of Musical Heritage’]

The U.S. Chamber also announced the finalists for America’s Top Small Business. The finalists showed exemplary levels of business leadership, ambition, and passion. To learn more about our finalists, check out their profiles below.