Countries / Territories

SME Competitiveness Benchmarking: Be Smart

  • Know and serve your client

    ITC's SME Competitiveness Benchmarking allows trade and investment support institutions (TISIs) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their members. This in turn helps TISIs design customised services which address the needs of their members. Benchmarking ultimately enables TISIs to boost firm's competitiveness and presence in international markets.

    The data collected through the SME Competitiveness Survey helps policymakers, business associations and investors make more informed decisions to support SMEs and inclusive economic growth. To fulfil these goals, the survey captures a wide range of factors along ITC’s pillars of competitiveness: Compete, Connect, and Change.

    The collected data allows ITC economists to identify the strengths and weaknesses of SMEs, as well as to map the current set of services TISIs provide along ITC's themes of competitiveness. Gaps in services offered by TISIs can then be matched to firms’ weaknesses, to inform institutions which new services may be needed to help increase SME competitiveness. The findings are ultimately published in a country competitiveness report.

    Engaging national partners in the data collection and subsequent analysis 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.

    • seth-twum-akwaboah.jpg

      Seth Twum-Akwaboah

      Chief Executive Officer - Association of Ghana Industries


      “ITC and AGI have worked together to highlight the important role that successful SMEs and economic competitiveness can play in promoting sustainable development and growth. Economic development, social inclusion and environmental sustainability are three interconnected pillars, and no one pillar can be addressed by only one institution.

      “AGI welcomes ITC’s increasing engagement and facilitation in multi-stakeholder partnerships and processes at the global, regional, and national levels through the Alliances for Action initiative as well as sector development strategies that enable SMEs to reach their full potential.”

      Quote from: SME Competitiveness in Ghana

    Once areas for improvement have been identified, ITC approaches its extensive donor network to raise funds for trade related technical assistance (TRTA) projects. The SME Competitiveness Benchmarking tool is also designed to be repeated on a 2-3 year cycle, as is happening in Ghana. Collecting data over time enables ITC and partner TISIs to monitor progress and assess whether current TRTA projects are making a difference.


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