SMEs critical to economy, food security
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the economy and the engine of growth, but they need support and facilitation to become game-changers in the transition towards economic stability of the country. This was the central message of the seminar on “Empowering SMEs with Sustainable Business Solutions,” jointly organised by the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and Scalling up Nutrition (SUN) Business Network Pakistan (SBN).
The event provided a platform for stakeholders to share the findings of a study recently conducted by GAIN and SBN on mapping, connecting, and strengthening relevant SMEs and entrepreneur support organisations.
LCCI President Kashif Anwar emphasised the need to shift the focus to the SME sector, which accounts for over 90% of industries and SMEs in Pakistan. He said that SMEs not only form the backbone of the economy but also help the large-scale manufacturing sector to play its due role.
The seminar highlighted the significance of the private sector in the food value chain and discussed the Enabling Business to Advance Nutrition Index (EBANI), an innovative advocacy tool designed by GAIN and SBN to enable the private sector to contribute to advancing positive nutrition outcomes. The event also presented the findings of the “Map, Connect, and Strengthen SMEs” study that assessed the technical and financial needs of the SMEs and SME Service Providers.
The co-chair of SBN and country coordinator mentioned that SBN Pakistan supports businesses to produce and increase the access and availability of affordable, safe, and nutritious foods to consumers, especially low-income consumers.