Jeanan Yasiri Moe
Director of Strategic Communications
The United Nations General Assembly designated June 27 as Micro-, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) Day and WARF trustees Winslow Sargeant and Deborah Keller were on hand to discuss the critical importance of advancing small business enterprise in our changing economy. The International Council of Small Business (ICSB) and the Argentine Republic led the call for the United Nations to create a special day to recognize the role MSMEs could play in achieving the U.N.’s sustainable development goals (SDGs).
More than 90 percent of the world’s businesses are MSMEs. These small business have the potential to make a long-lasting, positive impact on global development needs. MSMEs typically employ fewer than 250 people, but many employ relatively large numbers of women, youth and minorities and provide opportunities for income generation around the world. MSMEs are sometimes the only source of income in rural areas.
Winslow Sargeant, WARF trustee and senior vice president of development at ICSB, said, “The acknowledgement of the U.N. and its member states that MSMEs should have their own dedicated day sends a powerful message that economic empowerment by small business owners contributes to peace and stability by strengthening economies.”
During the June 27 celebration, WARF trustee Deborah Keller spoke to a group of global economic development leaders on the role that small businesses play in encouraging innovation and the need to build small businesses that are sustainable.
“We live in interesting times with many challenges, but technology and innovation provide opportunities,” said Keller. “Empowering local entrepreneurs to create sustainable MSMEs will help alleviate poverty and increase economic activity worldwide.”
Keller also shared WARF’s global perspective on innovation and technology and how WARF’s investment in startup enterprises as well as programs like UpStart, the Accelerator Program and the Entrepreneurons series are contributing to economic development, knowledge sharing and advancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
U.N. Under-Secretary-General Wu Hongbo gave the keynote address at the event, and other speakers included Cristiana Mele, Vinicus Pinheiro, Mohammad Dehghani, Michele Bongiovanni and Steven Wallace.