SMBS and the Informal Economy

Small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and the informal economy are critical to the economic health of developing countries. Vital Wave works with clients to assess and implement ICT solutions that strengthen SMBs and informal workers.

SMBs provide jobs for up to 85% of the workforce in developing countries. When supported with the right mix of policies, financing, and expertise, they can be a powerful instrument for poverty reduction and job creation. Supporting local entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth in key SMB sectors can have positive impact on gender equality, the environment, food security, and local development. Yet, small business face challenges, such as access to credit and lack of capacity, which keep them from reaching their full potential. For their part, informal workers struggle with limited job security and poor working conditions. ICTs can contribute to business productivity, innovation, and growth of SMBs. Technology can also help workers gain access to valuable digital services (e.g., health, employment, financial services).

Vital Wave helps foundations and corporate clients to support the growth of the SMB segment, with a focus on the integration and use of ICT. The company has guided the SMB growth and diversification strategies of large corporations, governments and development organizations. In addition, Vital Wave has designed and implemented capacity-building programs for developing-country entrepreneurs and informal workers.

Download Impact Area Overview: SMBs and the Informal Economy

There are over 400 million formal and informal SMBs in developing countries. An estimated 77% are informal, non-employer firms.