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Connecting SMEs to global markets

Published on December 16, 2015

On December 14, the Hub's Director of Investment, Ms Kanini Mutooni, took part in a discussion panel on the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in global markets. The panel was part of the Trade and Development Symposium, a World Trade Organization 10th Ministerial Conference side event in Nairobi, organized by the International Center for Trade and Development.

SMEs account for the majority of job creation in most countries. Yet, they suffer from high failure rate and low productivity. Furthermore, while SMEs are generally less productive than large corporations globally, the disparity is two or three times larger in developing countries.

Exporting SMEs tend to pay higher wages, are more productive, hire more new employees annually and earn more revenues than their non-exporting peers. This presents a challenge and an opportunity, especially for developing nations, to spur job creation and economic growth by supporting and promoting export-oriented SMEs.

Ms. Mutooni highlighted the need for innovative financing solutions that can enable SMEs to access the capital they need to grow and export. Trade finance is a particular challenge for exporting SMEs. The Hub is working closely with several partners to find solutions to this problem.