UNESCAP seeks inputs from FISME on policy paper to enable business innovation for inclusive & sustainable development
New Delhi, Apr 9 (KNN) The Government of India may constitute a task force under NITI Aayog or other agency to coordinate with the Ministries, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) Secretariat and BMOs to incubate social and impact entrepreneurship in the MSME sector. This suggestion was given by Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) to the government.
The Ministry of MSME had sought suggestions from FISME on United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (UNESCAP’s) document on “Policies to enable business innovation for inclusive and sustainable development”.
The policy paper will be discussed under the ‘Trade and Investment’ agenda during the 78th Annual Session of the UNESCAP and a statement will be made accordingly by the Indian delegation in the annual session.
The present document provides an overview of emerging policy options to promote business innovation for inclusive and sustainable development, drawing from policies implemented by States members of the ESCAP.
Innovative business models such as social enterprises and inclusive businesses are emerging which purposefully aim to address social and environmental challenges through market-based approaches and to provide livelihood opportunities, products and services to those at the base of the economic pyramid. In addition, a new wave of investors is shifting the investment paradigm from investing for profit to investing for impact. Governments in the Asia-Pacific region have spearheaded policies to enable such business innovations, the ESCAP policy document states.
The Commission has called for policy recommendations in order to provide guidance for the future work of the secretariat.
Responding to this, FISME, India’s apex body for MSME associations, said, “Vision of FISME on promotion and development of Environmental, Social and Governance entrepreneurship is in consonance with the ESCAP Policy Paper. The vast MSME sector of India is the largest employer predominantly of the people at the bottom of the pyramid and so has the biggest impact investment in the economy. ”
FISME opined that ESCAP and Government of India could work further in business innovation in environmental, social and governance three broad areas – Environment Friendly Entrepreneurship; Impact Investment in MSME Clusters; and Social Enterprises in Education and Healthcare.
The industry body said MSMEs are also participating in the entire business value chain of the organized manufacturing particularly where it is dirty, dangerous and generally having low value addition. MSMES in India are also the largest employer of women and weaker sections.
It suggested the Government support to MSMEs in facilitating credit availability, technology upgradation, participation in public procurement etc. are already advancing the objectives of sustainable and inclusive entrepreneurship.
The federation, in its document, noted that MSMEs in the unorganized sector are engaged in collecting, transporting and disposing of the city garbage and industrial solid wastes including the burgeoning Electronic Wastes in India.
However, due to inaccessibility to adequate capital and appropriate technology the procedure is primitive causing widespread health hazards.
“Here ESCAP Secretariat may come forward to provide technology for environment friendly handling of solid waste and Government of India may provide easy finance for adopting the technology by the Indian handlers of solid waste,” it said.
FISME also called for an Impact Investment in MSME Clusters which means that the Government can leverage the cluster development programs with the technical support of ESCAP Secretariat in supporting the nascent impact innovations of local entrepreneurs in upgrading skill of the prospective workers and addressing environmental damages.
For the Social Enterprises in Education and Healthcare sector, the industry body said, “While the corporate sector has discovered good business opportunities in Education and Healthcare, most of these corporate institutions are costly and beyond the means of the common man. On the other hand quite a few small entrepreneurs has initiated innovative Education and healthcare institutions for skill development, child and mother healthcare etc., purely as social enterprises. ”
FISME pointed out that these enterprises are handicapped by, besides scarcity of funds, non-availability of modern technology, pedagogy etc.
“Again here ESCAP secretariat can pitch in by linking with successful technologies of member countries and exchange of knowledge. Ministries of Government of India may initiate collaborative projects with ESCAP countries to fund and facilitate such ventures by the MSME entrepreneurs, ”FISME said.
ESCAP is an intergovernmental platform in the Asia-Pacific region. The Commission promotes cooperation among its 53 member States and 9 associate members in pursuit of solutions to sustainable development challenges. ESCAP is one of the five regional commissions of the United Nations. (KNN / AT)