9 Nov 2017, 09:14 — 6 min read
The short answer to the question posed in the title is quite simply 'yes'. A platform for SMEs is essential. There is no doubt that there is a need for it. There is no time like the present for it to play a role in improving the SME landscape worldwide. There is great potential for it to be something that redefines the way business is conducted in the 21st century. The ‘big business advantage’ which was once the purview of large corporations can also be at the fingertips of startups and SMEs. With that little leverage I am sure we will find SMEs propelling themselves to greater heights with the vigour and resourcefulness that is so characteristic of the sector. The scale of the SME sector and the immense potential to make a difference will be made clear in my arguments below.
The power of the internet is immense with the 21st century witnessing a paradigm shift in how communication works in the global economy. The use of social media is widespread and it is estimated that in three years, 2.7 billion people would be connected via social media. This digital world is an integral part of people’s lives, solving problems, providing entertainment and redefining how human society organises and conducts itself.
Social media has had a tremendous impact on the lives of people – helping them stay in touch with their loved ones, rally behind important causes, stay in touch with other professionals, find a new job, and even helping them find their partners.
While social media has risen and grown sharply, the world has simultaneously witnessed the incredible rise of small & medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups. According to a World Bank Study there are over 400 million SMEs & startups in the world and this number continues to grow.
In India alone, there are over 50 million SMEs & startups that employ over 110 million people. The government, recognising the potential of this segment, has launched a number of initiatives aimed at furthering the cause of SMEs such as ‘Startup India’, ‘Stand up India‘, ‘Make in India’ as well as a number of schemes such as credit guarantee for collateral free loans, loan subsidies on technology upgradation, and so on.
While their growth and potential are enormous, a vast majority of these businesses face complex and often insurmountable challenges: a lack of business connections, limited awareness of tools & best practices, limited staff, lack of timely information, and poor economies of scale.
What is needed then is a definitive platform that brings together SMEs & Startups from across the world to address common business challenges & unlock opportunities that would have been hard to imagine prior to the digital era. This platform would enable SMEs & Startups to ‘go global’, leverage their collective power and achieve economies of scale, provide them with a voice to express their challenges and allow them to engage more seamlessly with corporations looking to work with them. Here’s a look at these points in depth:
The platform would provide a way for leading entrepreneurs to share their stories and provide inspiration to a captive audience of millions of aspiring SMEs & Startups, working hard to achieve their business dreams. While the last decade witnessed the rise of the social platform, the next decade will witness the rise of a global business platform that brings the world’s over 400 million SMEs & Startups together.
Article and Image Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304300
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