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MSME day is celebrated on 27 June in India and worldwide to show support to micro, small and medium businesses around the world. World MSME day is celebrated to stress the importance of the MSME sector and their role in the development of global economy.

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India also celebrates the same day as national MSME day to appreciate the efforts of Indian MSMEs to the Indian economy. The country also has a National Small Industries Day to celebrate the contribution of small-scale industries to the economy.

India has increasingly stressed on the importance of MSME contribution to Indian economy. It has instituted an MSME ministry, introduced a slew of government schemes and even changed the MSME meaning twice to bring all small businesses under the ambit of MSMEs.

The history of international MSME day

The United Nations marked June 27 as International MSME day in 2017 through a resolution passed in the UN General Assembly in April 2017. The world institution launched a programme called ‘Enhancing National Capacities for Unleashing Full Potentials of MSMEs in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Developing Countries’ to foster the growth of MSMEs of the world.

The programme is being funded by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund of the United Nations Peace and Development Fund.

MSME day 2023

MSME day happens every June and as usual MSME day 2023 will happen on the designated day as well. This MSME Day celebration will mark the 6th anniversary of the UN General Assembly resolution of assigning an international MSME day.

On every MSME day the UN announces a theme for the day. The theme indicates the priority focus area of MSME development identified by the UN for that particular year. World leaders come together this day to discuss key areas surrounding the theme and enact policies that can help foster growth in these areas.

As history indicates the MSME day theme will be announced by the UN on that day. The theme for MSME day 2022 was ‘Resilience and Rebuilding: MSMEs for sustainable development at the forefront of building back better and stronger from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate crisis and conflicts.’

How can MSMEs contribute to sustainable development?

As mentioned earlier, the world MSME day was established to recognise the potential of MSMEs and raise awareness about the contribution of MSMEs to global economic growth and sustainable development.  World institutions believe that MSMEs can play a major role in the achievement of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Adopted by the United Nations in 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development introduces sustainable development goals that aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. There are 17 SDGs which aim to boost social, economic and environmental sustainability.

UN believes that MSMEs can play a vital role in helping to achieve each of the goals. Let us examine a few of these goals and see how MSMEs are helping achieve it:

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere

MSMEs create employment which lifts people out of poverty. In countries like India MSMEs are responsible for employing more than 80 lakh people from India’s working population. Also, MSMEs provide employment in rural areas which triggers social development.

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Small-scale food processing businesses, farmers and agri businesses contribute directly to this goal. In India many small agri tech businesses have come up with food waste reducing technologies that can minimise post-harvest losses.

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

This is a call for all businesses around the world to be careful of their water consumption and invest in technologies that can help businesses manage their water consumption better.

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

In recent decades, employment generated by MSMEs has steadily increased on a global level. According to data from the UN, from 2003-16, the number of total full-time employees in MSMEs has nearly doubled, from 79 million to 156 million across 132 countries.

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

“New and small firms are often the driving force behind the innovations that are important for economic growth, since they can work outside of dominant paradigms, exploit technological or commercial opportunities that have been neglected by more established companies or enable the commercialisation of knowledge that would otherwise remain uncommercialised,” according to a report from the UN.

MSME day in India

While MSME day in India is celebrated on the world MSME day, India has a day dedicated to national small-scale industries called the National Small Industry Day. It is observed annually on August 30 to appreciate the contribution made by the small-scale industry to India’s growth.

MSMEs are of extreme significance to India’s economy with the sector contributing 26.83% to the GVA in All India GDP recorded in 2020-21. Government of India has increasingly shown a greater attention to small businesses by attempting to fix the challenges faced by MSMEs. COVID relief packages, better access to finance, protection against delayed payments, access to global markets, etc., are just a few solutions introduced by the government for the welfare of the MSMEs.

How is India helping its MSMEs contribute to SDGs?

Indian government is also helping MSMEs become an integral part in contributing to the sustainable development goal of the government. Here are a few government schemes that have been introduced for MSMEs which are helping them support UN SDGs.

  1. Make in India

Make in India is a national programme launched by the Government of India to facilitate investment, foster innovation, improve skill development, protect intellectual property and build the best manufacturing infrastructure in the country.

  1. Start Up India

This is an initiative for the promotion of startups, generation of employment, and wealth creation through incentives like exemptions on income tax and capital gains tax for eligible startups.

  1. Ease of doing business

The ease of doing business initiative aims to make India a business-friendly destination for investors across the globe.

  1. National Handloom Development Programme

The NHDP aims to facilitate the sustainable development of handloom weavers located in India into a cohesive, self-managing and competitive socio-economic unit.

There are other schemes like ZED certification, National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture, Digital India and Atmanirbhar Bharat that helps MSMEs and businesses focus on sustainable production practices.

Since MSMEs hold a major role in the sustainable development of the country, the government has introduced various schemes that will provide better access to finance for small businesses. If you are an MSME interested in contributing to SDGs, you can apply to one of the government schemes to kickstart your journey towards a sustainable world.

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Priyanka Babu

Priyanka is a seasoned content marketing professional with more than 6 years of experience crafting various forms of business and technology sector content. Her insightful writing tackles critical issues faced by small-scale manufacturing businesses. Priyanka’s clear and concise communication empowers businesses to make informed decisions and thrive in today’s dynamic business environment.