Small business development solutions during and after the global pandemic

Key points by Ioanna Georgia Eskiadi

During this webinar, we discussed new opportunities, solutions and government regulations across the world for small and medium sized enterprise (SME) during and after the global pandemic.

· The economy is impacted by global pandemic.

· Need effective business development strategies and resources.

· In the post Covid-19 world, we need mechanisms for sustaining economies.

· New technologies and habits have an impact on the environment of SMEs.

· Small companies have big challenges to face.

· Working from home, leadership in crises and team-building are new tactics.

· Employment and companies have been affected by Covid-19.

· In 2020, need for goods and services has increased.

· Government needs to give opportunities and organize strategies.

· Global supply has changed.

During the Covid-19 period, the dynamics of the new normal have emerged like working from home and remote working. The productivity rule has changed 50–50; some employees in this new environment are doing 50 percent more work and some are doing 50 percent less work. In this situation, leadership in crises and team-building are important; employers have to pay the same and be sure that the team is in a good psychological condition. In the future, the new normal will be virtual space combined with physical space with new human resources, more transparency and productivity. There is also a need for a growth and innovation mindset and new businesses.

“In India, before Covid-19, the economy was struggling since it had a lot of debts and problems; now a lot of businesses suffer from revenue and million of companies are going to close, and million of employees are in danger of losing their jobs”, says Dr. Revendranath T. From ICFJAI Business School.

“In USA, Small Business Administration (SBA) backed Covid-19 loans, state and local programs”, says Anthony Cambas from University of Mississippi. International trade in 2020 is focused on goods. International trade is having challenges: the hardening of import and export regulations, value chain and supply chain disruptions, logistics, transportation, and closing of borders to international travelers. There are new opportunities in response to Covid-19 such as in international donor and government assistance, consumer awareness, international trade services, PPE (personal protection equipment) exports and imports, improvements in communications technologies (apps such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Microsoft teams etc.) and ecommerce. Covid-19 has hit the sectors of livestock, tourism/hospitality, handcrafts and technology hard.

“The major hit during this period is the decrease in demand of goods produced by SMEs and the decrease in working capital”, says Saurav Rimal from Discover City Private Limited.

The government of Nepal has supported SMEs by shifting the VAT and TAX collection dates, shifting the dates of loan installments and reduction in interest rates, although businesses expect further support such as the compensation for losses suffered during the lockdown or rebate in electricity bills by 50 percent. The global supply chain has changed, and all the messages are really confusing for people. Small businesses in this situation are complicated, and it is easier to get in debt. “In India, Instagram has been increasing a lot in popularity with small businesses; companies can go online, invest in ecommerce and connect with costumers”, says Namrata Sundaresan from Group IBI.

Speakers:

Dr. Farrah Arif is the founder & CE0 of EdTech Worx and Member of the board of Governors of National Information and Technology Board in Punjab, Pakistan.

Dr. Revendranath T is an Assistant Professor in the Institution of Chartered Financial Analysts in India (ICFAI) Business School (IBS) in Hyderabad, India. He was a U.S. State Department Fellows’ Exchange Alumnus in Fall 2014.

Mr. Anthony Cambas is an International Trade Specialist at the Mississippi Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Mississippi, USA.

Mr. Saurav Rimal is a Co-Founder and CEO of Discover City Private Limited in Lalitpur, Nepal and a U.S. State Department Fellows’ Exchange Alumnus in Fall 2018.

Ms. Namrata Sundaresan is the director of Group IBI in Chennai, India.

This event is co-organized by Digital Communication Network SouthEast Europe Hub (DCN SEE) and World Learning and is part of DCNSEE’s Ideas in Action — Digital Engagement, a series of virtual events launched in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

DCNSEE is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Citizen Exchanges. This global event was designed and arranged with support from the South-Central Asia Alumni Network of the State Department exchange program Professional Fellows, implemented by World Learning.

The series aims to engage digital communities globally, to promote accurate information, combat distortions, encourage responsible behavior, and discourage panic, support mitigation of a global pandemic, and avoid major societal disruptions.

DCN SOUTHEAST EUROPE HUB is a consortium of Aristotle University, Digital Communication Network, nonprofits, public and private organizations and companies involved in the fields of digital communication, social impact campaigns, technology, and innovation. It is a unique, interdisciplinary coalition tapping into the best talent and resources across Europe.

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