Recent estimates of employment by firm size suggest that the number of employees of SMEs in the formal sector has almost doubled in the 132 countries for which estimates are available, with SMEs' share of total employment rising from 31 to 35 per cent. SMEs and young firms are also often more dynamic with respect to employment growth. Despite this progress, there are persistent decent work deficits in these contexts, particularly in developing and emerging economies, where SMEs often exhibit significantly lower levels of productivity than large enterprises. This low productivity often coexists with poor working conditions, low market share, a low-skilled workforce and ineffective management practices. The aim of this training course is to enhance the skills of policymakers and practitioners in assessing and designing policies to improve productivity and working conditions in SMEs. It is hoped to inspire policymakers and practitioners to adopt a systemic approach to SME productivity that effectively encompasses macro- and meso-level policies, the creation of a conducive business environment and the strengthening of SME support institutions, together with intervention at the enterprise level. Special attention will be given to strategies that promote productivity at the corporate level and ways of scaling-up corporate-level productivity programmes.
The training course is specifically designed for policymakers and practitioners involved in the design and implementation of policies and related interventions affecting the productivity and working conditions of SMEs, such as decision-makers and managers representing governments, workers' and employers' organizations, productivity organizations and SME agencies.