Sustainable SME Action Agenda
Scaling Green SME Support for 2030
To overcome today‘s challenges – climate change, nature loss, pollution and the post-COVID-19 recovery – it is crucial to empower the micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the gamechangers of the transition towards more sustainability and circularity. Green SMEs are crucial ecosystem actors as they provide important services. They improve resource efficiency, drive climate adaptation and mitigation action on the ground, build resilience and contribute towards the triple bottom line of social, environmental and economic impact. Despite their contribution, they are frequently overlooked as actors who build forward better. Therefore, Green SMEs face major challenges in delivering their support, such as access to non-financial and financial support as well as in accessing markets and policy makers.
To scale Green SME Support for 2030, SEED, GO4SDGs and UNEP jointly build on their collective experiences to formulate lessons learned and critical next steps to inform this Sustainable SME Action Agenda. This Action Agenda targets key SME Stakeholders from the public and private sector, including policy makers, financers, intermediaries and SMEs. The Action Agenda invites all stakeholders to contribute through their experiences to the process of further developing and implementing the proposed future-proof Green SME Support Actions. These concrete support actions are designed through the lens of five key action areas of Green SME support such as Innovation, Non-Financial Support, Finance, Policy and Market.
These future-proof support actions were validated through a participatory consultation process with regional SME Stakeholders. To do so, SEED, GO4SDGs and UNEP jointly organised four Global Future Labs for Innovation and Policy. The Future Labs focused on Green SME support in the agri-food sector of Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa, and on the textile-fashion sector of Asia and West Asia. These regional consultations offered a platform for Green SME Stakeholders to share their experiences and discuss the gathered lessons and critical next steps.
The Sustainable SME Action Agenda marks the next step towards better tailored and more accessible Green SME Support for 2030. To realise this, SEED, GO4SDGs and UNEP move forward jointly with our partners to establish the Coalition for Innovation, Circularity and Entrepreneurship (CICE), a catalyst for collective action to empower SMEs everywhere. The Coalition aims to bring us one step closer to realising the promise of thinking globally, while acting locally.