The International Labour Organization (ILO) has launched several initiatives and emerging tools in the hopes of serving the needs of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis. Among these initiatives is the free online course entitled “Supporting SMEs during Covid-19” offered by the International Training Centre of the ILO (ITCILO).
The course offered by ILO deals with the support that governments can afford to SMEs as well as what SMEs themselves can do to alleviate the challenges brought on by the crisis. It currently consists of two blocks, with a third to be developed later on. Block 1 focuses on different policies and strategies that can help the operations and workforce of MSMEs during a crisis. It also focuses on helping participants identify good practices for SME policy-making during the COVID-19 crisis. The second block of the course focuses on what SMEs can do themselves to possibly minimize their losses during the crisis. Block 2 teaches them how to assess how vulnerable their businesses might be, and what possible risks they might face. It also teaches them how to develop effective contingency plans and useful tools that could minimize the impacts of said risks on their enterprise and their workers.
ILO’s “Supporting SMEs during Covid-19” course tackles the protection and support of micro, small, and medium enterprises through two different lenses. One through the responsibilities of the government and the assistance they can give to business owners, and another through the personal responsibilities of the SMEs themselves.
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