It is Not Just About the Money

Monday, September 7, 2020, by Andrew McDonald

It is Not Just About the Money

Monday, September 7, 2020, by Andrew McDonald

In continuing our conversation about the practical ways in which we can enact change for MSMEs globally, we will begin highlighting a spotlight piece every week from our journals, JICSB and JSBM. This week we are looking at JICSB.

Andrew McDonald, Chair, Small Business Investment Committee, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is featured in the first issue of the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB). The article, titled “It’s not just about the money,” speaks to the great truth of compounding factors that keep MSMEs from success. In his article, McDonald discussed the following as recommendations (directly from the article) for policy interventions that could aid MSMEs in overcoming the environmental challenges placed on them:

  • Business advice programs need to be developed to train local professionals to assist them in developing into local consultants.
  • Nations must develop and improve their regulatory frameworks and introduce targeted policies to support fintech and promote different initiatives. Therefore, a strengthened ecosystem removes barriers to accessing finance, provides improved capacity for both public and private institutions to serve SMEs, and ultimately provides platform advocacy for SMEs; this leads to better policies and regulatory support, stronger institutions, and improved market effectiveness.
  • In emerging economies, the role of local banks is important. Still, it is often supported and supplemented by the international financial institutions (IFIs) who use the local bank to deliver focused programs that help address the policy objectives mentioned above. Many of these come with technical assistance for the banks so that they can develop these activities into sustainable products that they can upscale.
  • Providing the money, or access to the money is a great start but does resolve the issues facing SMEs if we want them to be the powerhouses of our economies. It is undisputed that SMEs need access to finance to grow and develop, but they also need much more. There is no silver bullet solution; instead, it requires a combination of factors to be present, and these will vary from country to country and from time to time, but at least we know what the ingredients are. Developing each recipe, however, is the challenge that requires continued and improved coordination and cooperation from a cast of characters. (McDonald, 2020).

This article is a wonderful example of the ways that we can think creatively about providing aid to smaller economic units. The author takes no time to get to the main argument of his article, making it even stronger and more impactful. We applaud the work of the author, Andrew McDonald, and the EBRD, who both work tirelessly to progress towards ‘market-oriented economies and the promotion of the private and entrepreneurial initiative.’ Thanks to organizations like this, MSMEs are receiving the visibility and support that they need.

If you are looking to discuss MSMEs further, get personal access to the ICSB’s journals, JICSB, and JSBM when you become a member of ICSB.

The purpose of the Journal of the International Council for Small Business (JICSB) is to advance research and knowledge of policies and economic development as they relate to improving the performance and sustainability of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). To achieve this, JICSB emphasizes the relevance of the authors’ contributions to MSME practice. This unique focus creates the challenge of attracting and managing submissions of rigorous academic scholarly activity that intersect with the application of the knowledge created to operational practices of MSMEs.

JICSB has a strong focus on orientation to research, business, and industry. It will have a foot in both science and practice and can serve as a platform intermediary. This creates several unique strengths and opportunities in research that offer significant value to MSMEs. Articles emphasize the relevance of the research to the actual success of MSMEs by answering the “so what” question. Also, the Journal links this to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to map them when we are talking about MSMEs effectively. 

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