Sustainable SME Action Agenda

January 1, 2022

Arab Hoballah, Simon Mühlbauer, Mirko Zürker


This Sustainable SME Action Agenda outlines future pathways for critical actions to support micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is intended for key SME stakeholders, such as policy makers, intermediaries, financers and SMEs. Its main objective is to offer insights and critical next steps for action to scale the support to SMEs, a key stakeholder and driver of sustainable development and the Agenda 2030. To do so, it analyses the SME Ecosystem and – through an elaborate global consultation process with key SME stakeholders – develops concrete recommendations to close the gaps and maximise SME contributions to the SDGs.

SMEs are a critical actor in the global economy and a cornerstone in the transition towards circularity and sustainability. They account for 90% of registered businesses and over 50% of jobs worldwide, and contribute to well over 40% of GDP across emerging economies (World Bank, n.d.). A smaller sub-segment of SMEs goes beyond economics, aiming to create deeper and wider social and environmental – or green – impacts.