Western and Central Africa
Eastern and Southern Africa
Eastern Europe and Central Asia
The ITC SME Competitiveness Survey (SMECS) allows countries to assess the health of their enterprises by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. The data collected through the SMECS helps policymakers, business associations and investors make more informed policy decisions to support SMEs and inclusive economic growth. To fulfil these goals, the SMECS captures a wide range of factors which determine firm competitiveness.The SMECS is deployed in partnership with key domestic trade and investment support institutions (TISIs). TISIs are direct beneficiaries of the SMECS: they receive a valuable firm level data set as well as technical assistance from ITC on how to collect enterprise data and analyse it. This results in an improvement of their knowledge of the factors hampering SMEs ability to exploit their full potential and improve their competitiveness.Countries which carry out the SMECS receive a comprehensive assessment of enterprise competitiveness, presented at a launch event in the county. This report identifies not only the areas where SME capabilities are lacking, but also external factors which nevertheless affect SME competitiveness.
One of the SMECS’s primary advantages is that it captures critical information on countries' immediate business environments, for example, the cost and quality of certification bodies or business associations. This allows the SMECS to bridge a gap in existing indices of competitiveness, which tend to focus on the macro-economic determinants of competitiveness.Engaging national partners in the data collection ensures national ownership of the process and the resulting findings. This is critical if the recommendations in the country report are to be followed by on-the-ground action. The SMECS is also designed to be repeated on a 2-3 year cycle, to monitor progress and assess whether current policy actions are working.This project also contributes to SDG Goal 8: "Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all". By helping TISIs to provide better services to their clients, the project contributes to the internationalization of SMEs and consequently to inclusive economic growth.
Click here to download the SMECS flyer.