ICSB Proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses!

ICSB Proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses!

ICSB proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes

Sunday, March, 22, 2020

ICSB proposes an Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes

Sunday, March, 22, 2020

An Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses – All small businesses below 50 employees become tax-exempt as not-for-profits for 10 years.

“The world isn’t getting better, but technology is,” words spoken not by leaders but by an astute 9-year-old. The truth of that is like a thunderclap. Business innovation makes constant advancements, but oftentimes it’s at the sacrifice of humane practices. The very things that improve the quality of life for some come at a high “people” cost for very many others. Business innovation improves while humanity is removed. And that is when things are going relatively well.

The expression “desperate times call for desperate measures” may have sounded overused or laughingly cliche a few months ago, but those words have come to life around the world in just a few short months. The world, as we know it, is changing in front of our very eyes, and the aftermath of crisis will require more change, especially when we see the fractured economic crisis we are left with.

We think of economies and businesses as inanimate entities, but they are born, raised, and die on the backs of living, breathing people. They are inextricably linked, so when businesses go into crisis, so do the people who work for them. Particularly vulnerable during this time are small businesses that cannot afford to give employees extended paid leave and employees who depend on a weekly paycheck. Now is the time for large-scale measures to protect vulnerable businesses and workers, particularly seniors who face greater risks to their health and well-being.

If we continue to think small in terms of solutions, we will be stuck in small and incremental changes will only affect incremental improvements. But circumstances prove that the status quo is not enough. These desperate times, they call for, let’s not say “desperate” measures, but a well-thought-out plan. An audacious plan implemented on a global scale. What would that plan look like?

The Audacious Plan asks for the following 5 Guiding Principles:

1. All small businesses below 50 employees become tax-exempt as not-for-profits for 10 years. Small businesses are the lifeblood of their communities. Aside from selling necessary products or services, they provide social and community cohesion as well as jobs. Times of crisis like these hurt small businesses the most, which in turn harms society on a human level. When bars, restaurants, and other places for recreation suffer, socializing goes down. It should be considered a higher civic duty to make sure small businesses can survive. Countries can figure out ways to make money that don’t put a strain on small businesses. Big box stores in an area often beat up small businesses, and many of those wounds lead to their death. Giving small businesses tax exemption helps balance out the disadvantage, keep and create jobs, and generally give the local economy a much needed shot in the arm.

2. All countries establish standards for online education for a national education program for K-12 education in partnership with global IT firms. In this age of digital and virtual technology, pandemic or other disasters shouldn’t have to grind education to a halt. Citizens pay taxes for public education, but in many cases, it is not paying for alternatives in cases such as these. But even many affluent neighborhoods have schools without the ability to conduct education online, making it not solely an economic issue. The attitudes of educators need to be adjusted to view educated children as their civic duty under any circumstances where it is possible.

3. All public teachers and nurses get tax free benefits and free graduate education like veteran benefits. Teachers and nurses are a new breed of modern-day and all too often unsung heroes that should be given the benefits of such. Teachers are on the front lines trying to keep order, educate, inspire, and protect our children, whether the classroom is online or in real life. They often the first line of defense for children. Nurses help heal, comfort, and care for patients in close contact, putting their own health and well-being on the line daily. They fight a different war but a war; nonetheless, one that requires self-sacrifice. They should have the benefits of someone who serves and sacrifices for their community, including free tuition, tax-exemption, and healthcare benefits.

4. Free internet funded by local governments. Once a novel technological luxury, the internet can be very nearly regarded as a necessity in this era. Like many necessities, not all can afford it. The mindset towards internet access needs to change from being considered a private luxury to a public good. When citizens pay taxes for public services, the internet should be one of them. Internet for all.

5. A Global Small Business Congress to held on June 27 at the United Nations. For any of these guidelines to be enacted, there needs to be a meeting of minds; a summit for the people and by the people—organizations without government affiliation–to meet to discuss these plans. June 27 is the United Nations International Day for Micro-Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs Day). The day was proposed by ICSB and presented by Argentina to the UN General Assembly. This day is our meeting point.

We need to move swiftly forward with the Audacious Plan to Save Small Businesses.

Article written by:

Dr. Ayman El Tarabishy
ICSB Executive Director
Deputy Chair and Professor at George Washington University School of Business



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



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.



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.



Women in the Labor Market and MSMEs Day

In 2023, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) declared a potent theme for Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day: “Galvanizing MSMEs Worldwide by Supporting Women and Youth Entrepreneurship and Resilient Supply Chains.” The emphasis was significantly placed on women, not merely as a subtheme but as a predominant discourse, unearthing their pivotal role in the global entrepreneurial landscape.

Some met this theme with resistance, questioning the spotlight on women as a significant focal point for MSMEs Day. However, with the recent commendation of Claudia Goldin, a Harvard University professor awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for her ground-breaking research into women’s income and employment, the discourse seems timely and pertinent. Goldin’s research, which analyzed over 200 years of US data, revealed that the gender pay gap could historically be attributed to differences in education and occupation. Yet, notably, the majority of current earnings disparities arise between men and women in identical works, amplifying post-childbirth.

Addressing the Challenges Faced by MSMEs Globally

The global working environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs has been staggered by multiple simultaneous shocks and crises, including conflicts, commodity dependence, geopolitical tensions, and pandemics, inducing social and economic instability. This instability renders MSMEs, particularly those owned by women and youth, extremely vulnerable to escalating inflation and supply chain disruptions.

Despite the burgeoning percentage and overall number of business formations by women and youth worldwide, these enterprises often face limited access to affordable finance, capacity-building support, partnership networks, and global markets. These challenges often hinder their business growth, trapping many within informality or necessity entrepreneurship.

Policies and Support for MSMEs: A Step Towards Inclusive Development

Policies that bolster capacities and support the development of MSMEs and entrepreneurship for women and youth must be prioritized. By addressing challenges, lowering and removing barriers, and providing an environment conducive to the growth of women- and youth-owned businesses, we pave the way towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10. Additionally, it honors the “leave no one behind” pledge of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs.

ICSB’s Vision Materializing: More Focus on Women Entrepreneurs

ICSB takes immense pride in witnessing the materialization of its 2023 efforts, as more focus is now being accorded to women entrepreneurs. Our initiative to highlight the importance of women in entrepreneurship was not merely to spark a conversation but to ignite a transformative change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The recognition of Claudia Goldin’s work by the Nobel Prize serves as a testament to the urgent need to address, discuss, and find solutions to the gender disparities in the labor market. It aligns seamlessly with our mission and further validates our thematic choice for MSMEs Day in 2023.

The journey towards empowering women and youth in entrepreneurship, especially within the MSMEs sector, is pivotal for economic growth, societal advancement, and a better future. It is the collective responsibility of global organizations, policymakers, and individuals to continue this momentum, ensuring that the endeavors of entities like ICSB and individuals like Claudia Goldin pave the way for sustainable, inclusive progress worldwide.

by: Dr. Ayman ELTarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB
Deputy Chair, Dpt. of Mgt, W School of Business

SMEs and Climate Change

SMEs and Climate Change

SMEs and Climate: The Unsung Heroes in the Battle for a Greener Tomorrow

The climate crisis is undeniably one of the most pressing challenges of our time. While much attention is given to the roles of governments and large corporations in addressing this issue, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are emerging as pivotal players in the fight against global warming. Representing over 90% of businesses worldwide, SMEs are uniquely positioned to make a significant impact. Here’s how:

Historical Context:

Three decades ago, Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature,” was among the first to sound the alarm on artificial climate change. His writings in the New Yorker and his groundbreaking book laid the foundation for the global conversation on this pressing issue. Fast forward to the present, and the momentum continues with individuals like Kyle Pope, editor and publisher of the Columbia Journalism Review, and Mark Hertsgaard. They spearheaded “Covering Climate Now,” a global initiative encouraging news organizations to address climate change consistently. With the commitment of over 250 news outlets worldwide, this project underscores the urgency of sustained and impactful climate coverage.

The SME Challenge:

While SMEs have the potential to be significant players in the fight against climate change, several barriers often hold them back:

Time Constraints: SMEs, often running lean operations, might be unable to figure out sustainable practices’ complexities.

Lack of Knowledge: Many SMEs are unfamiliar with or uninterested in buying carbon credits, seeing it as an abstract concept rather than a tangible solution.

Regulation vs. Solution: SMEs typically prefer straightforward solutions over additional restrictions. They seek effective, easy-to-implement strategies rather than more bureaucratic hurdles.

Profitability: For many SMEs, sustainability needs to make business sense. They’re looking for profitable eco-friendly initiatives, not just another expense.

Operational Integration: SMEs often grapple with seamlessly integrating sustainable practices into their operations without disrupting their business model.

An Example: The Ripple Effect of Early Education on Sustainability:

One of the most profound examples of grassroots change in sustainability can be traced back to kindergarten and middle school programs. Early education initiatives that introduced recycling taught children the mechanics of sorting waste and instilled in them the values of environmental responsibility. Armed with newfound knowledge and a sense of purpose, these young students became ambassadors of change in their homes, urging parents to adopt recycling habits. As families began to embrace these practices, the ripple effect continued, influencing broader community behaviors and eventually reaching local businesses. It was, in essence, the younger generation that catalyzed this transformative shift. This phenomenon serves as a powerful testament to the influence of early education on societal habits and offers a promising blueprint for introducing climate change products and services. By targeting educational initiatives at a young age, we can hope to foster a generation that understands the importance of sustainable practices and actively champions them in every sphere of their lives.

The Potential of SMEs:

Flexibility and Innovation: SMEs possess an inherent agility that many more giant corporations lack. This allows them to swiftly adapt to new technologies and market demands, pioneering innovative green solutions.

Localized Impact: By adopting sustainable practices, SMEs can inspire change in their communities, influencing suppliers, competitors, customers, and beyond.

Green Products and Services: With the rising demand for sustainable products, SMEs have the opportunity to tap into this burgeoning market.

Energy Efficiency: Simple measures can significantly reduce an SME’s carbon footprint.

Sustainable Supply Chains: SMEs can amplify their positive environmental impact by making eco-conscious choices in their supply chains.

Employee Engagement: SMEs can foster a company culture that champions sustainability.

Advocacy and Awareness: SMEs can leverage their platforms to champion climate-friendly policies and raise environmental awareness.

Aligning with Global Goals:

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer a blueprint for global sustainability, and SMEs play a crucial role in realizing these objectives.

ICSB’s Emphasis on Climate:

The International Council for Small Business (ICSB) has long advocated for sustainable business practices, especially in the context of climate change. Recognizing the pivotal role that small businesses play in the global economy, ICSB has consistently emphasized the importance of climate action, not just as an environmental necessity but also as a business imperative.

One of the most notable ways ICSB has brought attention to this issue is through its “Top Ten Trends” publication. Year after year, climate change has featured prominently on this list, highlighting its significance and urging businesses, especially Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), to take proactive measures. This consistent emphasis serves as a clarion call for SMEs to recognize the imminent threats posed by climate change and to adapt their business models and practices accordingly.

Furthermore, the annual MSMEs Day, championed by ICSB, presents a golden opportunity to further the climate agenda. Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day is a celebration of the entrepreneurial spirit and a platform to discuss and promote sustainable business practices. By integrating climate-focused workshops, panels, and discussions into the MSMEs Day agenda, ICSB can further its mission of equipping businesses with the tools and knowledge they need to combat climate change.

ICSB’s collaboration with the STGC (Sustainable Tourism Global Center) initiative has also been instrumental in promoting sustainable business practices. The STGC initiative, in partnership with ICSB, works towards creating a more transparent and accountable global commerce ecosystem. By emphasizing the importance of sustainability, transparency, and ethical business practices, the STGC initiative, backed by ICSB, is paving the way for a greener and more responsible global business landscape.

In conclusion, ICSB’s unwavering commitment to climate action, its influential platforms like the “Top Ten Trends” and MSMEs Day, and collaborations like the STGC initiative position it as a leading force in the global movement towards a sustainable future.

In Conclusion:

While they may not have the vast resources of multinational corporations, SMEs have the agility, community influence, and innovative spirit to make substantial strides in addressing climate change. Their extensive and small actions contribute to a collective effort pushing us towards a more sustainable future.

In the climate narrative, SMEs are not just supporting characters but leading protagonists.

AI Punctuated Revolution

AI Punctuated Revolution

AI and the Punctuated Revolution: How Technology is Transforming Our World 

Flashback to the 1950s: Elvis Presley had everyone “All Shook Up” with hits like “Heartbreak Hotel,” and Dean Martin serenaded many with “Memories Are Made of This.” It was a time of jukeboxes, rebellious teens, and…dinosaurs? Well, not literally, but let’s come back to that. 

Between the hip-swinging and chart-topping, the decade saw unprecedented leaps in medicine with the first organ transplant and the polio vaccine’s debut. In the same breath (and perhaps with the same visionary spirit that the King of Rock’ n’ Roll brought to music), John McCarthy introduced us to the term “artificial intelligence” at the Dartmouth Conference (read more.)

Now, picture McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, Nathaniel Rochester, and Claude Shannon at Dartmouth in a brainstorming session that might’ve rivaled the brainstorm that led T-Rex to evolve those tiny arms. Yep, you heard it right. Dinosaurs. They’ve got a part to play in this tale.

See, there’s this notion called “Punctuated Equilibrium” in biology. Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge introduced us to this captivating concept. This theory posits that life typically hums along in a stable rhythm, but now and then, in a twist reminiscent of a surprise guitar solo, it experiences dramatic shifts. Imagine the Earth spinning an unpredictable tune, leading to extinction events like the dinosaurs. This abrupt interlude made way for the rise of small mammals, which, in a crescendo of evolution, eventually set the stage for… well, us.

Techie Time Warp

Parallel to the rock ‘n’ roll revolution, technologies like neural networks quietly evolved, anticipating their breakout moment.

AI: The New Rock Star on the Block

The ’50s weren’t all greasers and milkshakes—it was the beginning of the AI revolution. With this tech trio—algorithms, data, and computing—it was as if the tech world found its rock star, fundamentally transforming industries, including healthcare. Early disease detection via AI? That’s your headlining act!

SMEs: The Breakout Bands

In the great concert of innovation, SMEs are your indie bands. They might not always make the headlines, but they have potential. By jamming with AI, they’re setting new trends, creating unique experiences, and aligning with the beats of the UN SDGs.

Dino-sized example? AI guiding SMEs to cut waste and elevate agricultural yields. It’s not quite a meteoric impact, but it’s shaping ecosystems, just like the aftereffects of our prehistoric friends’ departure.

The Encore: The Future of AI

Being a hit in the AI charts is like trying to maintain a classic song’s popularity—it takes constant reinvention. By syncing with global aims like the UN SDGs, SMEs ensure they’re not one-hit wonders but legends in the making.

Yet, the music world, like AI, demands responsibility. We have to ensure our innovations strike the right chord ethically.

As we navigate the confluence of biology, history, and technology, we’re presented with an unparalleled opportunity and a profound responsibility. The harmonious notes of “We Are the World,” a masterpiece crafted by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, remind us of the essence of unity and progress. With the swift rise of AI, we’re adding a fresh verse to our collective anthem of existence. This isn’t merely about ushering in a new era of innovation; it’s an earnest call for mindful stewardship. History’s dramatic shifts, like the abrupt finale of the dinosaurs, offer a poignant lesson: permanence is a myth. As we revel in the brilliance of technology, it’s crucial to strike a harmonious balance, ensuring our advancements don’t overshadow our essence. Let’s not mirror the dinosaurs or their ill-fated destiny; we’ve been blessed with foresight.

So, as we groove into the future, let’s remember the lessons from Elvis, the King, the unsung indie bands, and, yes, even the mighty dinosaurs. Combining rhythm, vision, and adaptability can create a harmonious, world-changing symphony. With the right tools and a chorus of global unity, we must ensure our legacy of sustainability, inclusivity, and vision echoes harmoniously for future generations.



SME World Forum Focuses on Azerbaijan, 

November 13-16, 2023.

The 2023 SME World Forum will bring together some of the business world’s most inventive and passionate leaders from academia, policy, and the youth sector. The Republic of Azerbaijan’s Small and Medium Business Development Agency will spearhead the event as the principal host. This World Forum is scheduled from November 13 to November 16, 2023, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The 2023 SME World Forum will bring together some of the business world’s most inventive and passionate leaders from academia, policy, and the youth sector. The Republic of Azerbaijan’s Small and Medium Business Development Agency will spearhead the event as the principal host. This World Forum is scheduled from November 13 to November 16, 2023, in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Submit Your Best Practice: 

SME World Forum: Baku 2023 — Best Practices Exchange

Forum Theme and Objectives:

The SME World Forum’s inaugural will reunite some of the most creative and emphatic world leaders of the business world, policy, academics,s and youth. The Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the main lead. It will be the primary host, and this World Forum will occur from November 13 to November 16, 2023, in Baku, Azerbaijan.


Host and Venue:

The Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan is honored to host this prestigious event. The World Forum will be held from November 13 to November 16, 2023. ICSB is partnering with the Small and Medium Business Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The SME World Forum will target five key segments: Private Sector Companies, Startups, Policy Sector, Academic Sector, Education Sector, and Tourism & Hospitality. With special dedicated sessions on youth and women entrepreneurship:

Why Attend from the Private Sector?

Networking Opportunities: Connect with industry leaders, policymakers, and researchers.
Cutting-edge Insights: Access the latest trends, strategies, and opportunities shaping the SME landscape.
Influence and Collaboration: Play an active role in shaping policies and best practices that impact the SME ecosystem globally.


Why Attend from Policy Sector?

Influence Policy Direction: Engage in critical dialogues with SME leaders, industry experts, and academics, contributing to formulating policies that foster small and medium enterprise growth, innovation, and sustainability.
Collaborate Across Sectors: Build partnerships with the private sector, educators, and legislators, promoting integrated approaches that align public policy with industry needs and societal goals, enhancing the effectiveness of regulations and interventions.
Access Global Perspectives: Gain insights from international thought leaders and policymakers, allowing for a comprehensive understanding of global trends and challenges. This knowledge will inform more effective local and national policy decisions that can drive positive change in the SME landscape.


Why Attend from the Academic Sector?

Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Engage with professionals across various fields, including business, policy, and technology, fostering a rich environment for innovative research and interdisciplinary collaboration that can lead to new academic insights and breakthroughs.

Real-World Impact: Connect with practitioners in the SME sector to understand real-world challenges and opportunities, guiding research focus toward practical applications that can have tangible impacts on small and medium-sized enterprises.

Global Perspectives on SMEs: Participate in discussions and workshops led by international experts to gain a comprehensive understanding of global trends, regional variations, and cultural influences on SMEs, enriching your research and teaching methods with diverse and inclusive perspectives


Why Attend as Tourism & Hospitality Expert:

Industry Insights and Trends: Discover the latest trends, technologies, and innovative practices shaping the tourism and hospitality industry. Gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences, sustainability initiatives, and the role of SMEs in driving economic recovery and growth.
Networking Opportunities: Connect with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and academics specializing in tourism and hospitality. Engaging in meaningful conversations can lead to partnerships, collaborations, and new business opportunities.

Skill Development and Knowledge Sharing: Attend workshops, seminars, and panel discussions led by experts in the field. Enhance your professional skills, learn about best practices, and contribute your experiences and insights to shape the future of tourism and hospitality in a world increasingly influenced by SMEs.

Why Attend as Women & Youth:

Empowerment and Inclusion: Explore initiatives and strategies to empower women and youth in business. Understand how SMEs are providing platforms for gender equality and youth involvement, and learn how you can contribute to these efforts.

Entrepreneurial Development: Gain insights into entrepreneurial opportunities tailored to women and young entrepreneurs. Learn from successful women and youth-led SMEs, and get inspired to launch or grow your venture.

Networking with Like-minded Individuals: Connect with women and youth leading the way in various industries. Build a network that can offer support, mentorship, and collaboration, all vital for personal and professional growth.

Education and Skill Enhancement: Participate in workshops and training sessions designed to enhance skills and knowledge relevant to women and youth in business. Benefit from personalized learning paths that align with your career goals.

Voice and Impact: Have your voice heard on issues directly impacting women and youth in the business environment. Engage with policy-makers, industry leaders, and academics to contribute your perspective and potentially influence the policies and practices that shape the future for women and youth in SMEs.



Addressing the “Perfect Storm”: A Human-Centered Approach to Academic Integrity and Transparency

Recent continued events have shaken the academic community’s foundations, leading us to a decisive crossroads. The reported severe charges of data falsification leveled against Professor Gino from Harvard University and the resignation of Dr. Tessier-Lavigne as President of Stanford University due to reported flaws in his research highlight the imperative for rigorous ethical guidelines and exhaustive examination procedures in the research community.


We are facing a scenario characterized by Herman Aguinis as an “irresponsible research perfect storm.”  Invoking an analogy with the film ‘The Perfect Storm,’ Dr. Agunis predicted and sounded an alarm concerning imminent threats that could devastate the management field. His open-source paper https://lnkd.in/ee6-_b2S stated this.

So, what do we do?

Our Response as Journal Leaders

As Editors in Chief of JSBM and JICSB and integral members of the leadership teams of Jeffrey Alves (Editor of JICSB), Katia Passerini (Interim President of Seton Hall), Eric Liguori, Head of the School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Rowan University, we are monitoring these developments. Actively engaging with the academic community and liaising with our publisher, Taylor & Francis Group, we acknowledge the necessity to confront these issues and preserve the integrity of scholarly work.

I recommended that our team devise plans that focus on the following:

#1: Enhancing Transparency: By encouraging more open data reporting, we aim to make study findings universally accessible, thus reinstating confidence in academic research.

#2: Leveraging Technology: We intend to harness technology to simplify research data access, narrowing the divide between researchers and the broader readership.

#3: Celebrating Trial and Error: In acknowledging that research is a process of discovery and growth, we honor both success and failure, promoting a balanced perspective that values innovative findings and insightful questions leading to unexpected outcomes.


As distinguished scholars gather at esteemed venues such as AOM in Boston and ICSB this week, our cooperative, human-centered approach lays the foundation for a transformative era in academic research.

As my esteemed colleague, Dr. Winslow Sargeant, Immediate Past Chair of ICSB, succinctly articulated, ‘ We need a paradigm shift in how research is done and classified.’ This profound insight captures the essence of our mission and emphasizes the critical necessity for a transformative approach.’

I end it with a quote from Albert Einstein “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its reason for existence.”

May our academic community persist in its quest for knowledge, exploration, and the pursuit of truth and excellence.

by: Ayman ElTarabishy
Editor-in-Chief of JSBM
President & CEO, ICSB



A New Chapter at Seton Hall: Dr. Katia Passerini Appointed as Interim President, 

Blazing New Grounds in Education

🎓 Announcement and Congratulations to Seton Hall University!

I am thrilled to share the Board of Regents’ unanimous decision to appoint Dr. Katia Passerini as Interim President of Seton Hall, effective immediately.


Dr. Katia Passerini is also the Managing Editor of ICSB’s Journal for Small Business Management (JSBM). She is credited with Dr. Eric Liguori for making JSBM the leading journal for Associate Editor gender balance and the number one academic journal in entrepreneurship and small business domain to make a pledge that all submitted papers are published within 100 days of receipt. Our partners Taylor & Francis Group have accomplished this new cutting-edge solution excellently.


Katia Passerini is an award-winning writer and co-authored a best-selling book titled The Future of Business Schools: Purpose, Action, and Impact with the lead author from HEC, Dr. Baldegger Rico, Director and Professor of Strategy, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the School of Management Fribourg (HEG-FR).


Since joining as Provost and Executive Vice President in June 2020, at the peak of the global pandemic, Interim President Passerini has been instrumental in the University’s success. Her leadership in implementing the HyFlex teaching modality enabled Seton Hall to navigate the challenging times and achieve a safe and robust in-person academic year in 2020-21.

Her dedication, innovative approach, and unwavering commitment to excellence have been vital in steering the institution through uncharted territories. The future looks bright under her stewardship.


Please join me in congratulating Dr. Passerini and wishing her and the entire Seton Hall community success! 🎉


ICSB is very proud of you, JSBM thanks you for her continued leadership, and I think Dr. Passerini is just starting a remarkable career in creating a more dynamic Human-Centered world dedicated to improving the education field and teaching our upcoming leaders.

ICSB Family Congratulates You!




Entrepreneurial Revolution to Prosperity: ICSB’s Vision 2024

In 2022, the International Council for Small Business (ICSB) held its World Congress in Washington, D.C., with a theme that resonated around the globe: the Entrepreneurial Revolution. This theme was both groundbreaking and shocking, as ICSB declared a revolution was indeed happening in the entrepreneurship domain.


Catalysts of Change
The Entrepreneurial Revolution, as defined by ICSB, has been fueled by a confluence of global challenges in recent years. Among these are the lingering and devastating effects of the war in Ukraine, the relentless battle with Covid-19, and the escalating challenges related to climate change.

These pressing issues have shaped the global landscape and galvanized a new era of entrepreneurial spirit that requires innovation, frugality, resilience, and a collaborative mindset.


Entrepreneurship for Humanity & Peace: The 2023 ICSB World Congress

The 2023 World Congress centered on “Entrepreneurship for Humanity & Peace.” The rationale behind this theme was the urgent need to counter the global challenges faced in 2022 with a proactive and united plan.

ICSB emphasized a multi-faceted approach, focusing on all aspects of this strategy. One of the critical elements highlighted was the role of Women and Youth entrepreneurship, especially in alignment with the UN Micro, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day. This perspective stems from an understanding that empowering these demographic groups can lead to a more inclusive and robust global economy.


Progress and the Path Forward Based on a Human-Centered Approach

While there is a sense of progress and a growing global dialogue surrounding these issues, the ICSB recognizes that a significant spark is needed to propel this movement further. The focus is now shifting to what is believed to be the solution: harnessing the ideas of the youth and leveraging technology as a driver.

The power of young minds, fueled by technological innovation, can catalyze positive change, bridging gaps and creating opportunities. It’s a path that acknowledges the interdependence of various sectors and the need for a cohesive strategy to tackle global challenges.


Upcoming: The 2024 ICSB World Congress in Berlin, Germany

As the world continues to grapple with the complexities of the current global landscape, the ICSB is actively planning for the future. A new theme for the 2024 World Congress is on the horizon, with the promise of further building on the momentum created.

There’s a palpable sense of anticipation as the ICSB continues championing the cause of the Entrepreneurial Revolution. With a clear vision and a collaborative approach, they are making strides towards a future where entrepreneurship is not merely a business concept but a tool for building peace, humanity, and a more harmonious world.

Stay tuned as the journey continues and a new chapter unfolds in the exciting and ever-evolving world of entrepreneurship. The ICSB’s unwavering commitment to innovation and social responsibility promises to guide us towards new horizons, as they declare, “We have a plan.”


by: Ayman ElTarabishy
President & CEO, ICSB