Micro Firms Should Never be Underestimated

Micro Firms Should Never be Underestimated

Luxembourg / Luxembourg – May 11, 2012: EIB, European Investment Bank in Luxembourg – EIB is a publicly owned international financial institution, its shareholders are the EU member states (Shutterstock)

“Micro firms should never be underestimated; everyone starts out small”. This conclusion by the European Investment Bank Group sets the context for the collaboration between UN Women and the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

The UN Women-IICA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) facilitates enhanced support for women and marginalized farmers and agri-business owners, including strengthening gender-responsive services to women and youth in agri-business across the region.

In CARICOM, micro, small and medium enterprises have been described by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) as the backbone of the private sector, accounting for more than 50% of regional employment and gross domestic product.

They are also an important vehicle for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, through their significant impact on job creation, poverty reduction and financial inclusion, especially among women and youth.

Notwithstanding their importance, they face substantial constraints, particularly those operating in agriculture and related sectors, i.e., AgriMSEs, a situation which was exacerbated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN Joint Programme, funded by the UN Trust fund for Human Security and the Build Back Equal (BBE) programme funded by Global Affairs Canada, are focused contributions being led by UN Women and other UN partners (UNDP, ILO, FAO and UNFPA) to fast-track efforts for safe-guarding and strengthening the significant contributions of women-led MSMEs, by addressing gender inequality and other critical barriers to their development.

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