SMEs, COVID-19 and impact investment for digitalization

SMEs, COVID-19 and impact investment for digitalization

VIENNA, 6 October 2020 - “COVID-19 has put a lot of strain on our society and on economies around the globe. To help small and medium enterprises to continue to recover from the pandemic, they need proper access to finance and investment to help them foster digital capabilities. We need to ensure that SMEs are part of the digital transformation if we want to build a sustainable future - allowing progress that enhances the opportunities for all.”

Bernardo Calzadilla-Sarmiento, Managing Director, Directorate of Digitalization, Technology and Agri-Business at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), was speaking during a webinar focusing on impact investment through the Enterprise Development and Impact Programme (EDIP). The webinar, organized by UNIDO's Investment and Technology Promotion Office (ITPO) in Bahrain, was part of the GMIS Digital Series which is building on the momentum of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (GMIS) Virtual Summit 2020 during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Hashim Hussein, Head, ITPO Bahrain, said, “We must support SMEs around the world to become more engaged with technology and ensure entrepreneurial resilience. In Bahrain, we have long-running programmes that support start-ups, micro, small and medium businesses through the creation of ecosystems that encourage investment, and, outside of the country, we are focused on supporting the industrialization process of developing countries by helping to attract investment into SME programmes that embrace technological change."

The webinar featured contributions from Veronika Peshkova, UNIDO Goodwill Ambassador; Safia Boly, former Minister for the Promotion of Private Investment, Small and Medium Enterprises and National Entrepreneurship, Mali; Khaled Hanafy, Secretary General of the Union of Arab Chambers; and Anjan Das, Executive Director, Confederation of Indian Industry.

Sessions in the weeks to come include webinars on MSMEs in Europe and Central Asia, Latin America, and decarbonization. To view the upcoming sessions of the GMIS Digital Series, register here Previous sessions of the GMIS Digital Series can be viewed here