African SMEs’ Performance and Behaviors during COVID-19

● Rapid and well-designed policy measures to support enterprises, jobs and incomes are essential to contain the economic and social fallout of the pandemic. ● Employment retention measures provide incentives to employers to hold on to workers even if a frm has to close or decrease its activity. The main objective is to maintain employees on the payroll so that enterprises are ready to resume activity as soon as the restrictions have been eased or lifted. Such measures may include work sharing and shorter working weeks, wage subsidies, and social security contributions. ● Promoting digital skills development for micro and small business owners and employees must be a structural priority going forwards ● Legislation simplifcation and regulatory reform is an indispensable part of creating a more favorable business environment, requiring all existing and new laws and regulations to be examined through the lens of the SME sector in order to systematically determine their costs, benefts and social impacts. ● Simplify business-related legislation and regulations to help improve the SMEs business environment. ● Systematically conduct, in cooperation with the SMEs sector, the regulatory review and simplifcation process and monitor it regularly. Engaging SMEs in the regulatory process helps increase the transparency and openness of the process, ensuring that SME needs are properly addressed, and that the regulation serves their interest. ● National programs which provide SMEs with information, suggestions and incentives to internationalization is a desirable way of public intervention. ● Infrastructure as a component of any economy is the most important condition of successful SMEs growth. The modernization and enhancement of such an infrastructure is especially critical.The infrastructure for innovation activities and support for SMEs should be understood as all the institutions making organizational, educational, consulting, information, material-technical, fnancial and other provision for the functioning of these enterprises. Thus, infrastructure in the broad sense combines the activities of all institutions, organizations and frms ofering direct and indirect support and providing assistance for SME development. However, the relative institutional and functional isolation of legislative-normative, fnancial, educational, market and other components has led to their detachment from the SMEs’ growth infrastructure. ● Public decision makers should create an SME infrastructure based on the formation of conditions and provision of a broad spectrum of services: provision of material and technical, including an experimental base, marketing, consultancy, patent-licensing and information, educational support etc., because small and medium-sized enterprises have a particular need for appropriate infrastructure as a result of the limited nature of the fnancial resources and operating conditions, the absence of experience of carrying out economic activity, forming business plans, implementing projects etc. ● In this sense, the infrastructure that would enable SMEs activities includes, the activities of technoparks, innovation business-incubators, innovation-technology centers, technology transfer centers, consulting, information and other bodies providing diferent kinds of services for small enterprises. This segment of support for SME activities is known as the institutional infrastructure of the innovation process. ● Public campaigns should strengthen further, give support and reinforce the role that women, and youth play in the economy and encourage non-discrimination against these two segments


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