Promoting SMEs – Missing Middle Link Concept (MMLC)

Promoting SMEs – Missing Middle Link Concept (MMLC)

Promoting SMEs is one of the focus areas of Segeros International Group INC (SIG). Accordingly, Ms. Rosemary Segero is a passionate advocate for expanding opportunities of access to finance and provision of training to impart business planning management skills and relevant litracy proficiencies to indispensable management to SMEs entrepreneurs. In August 17, 2017 she took the opportunity to forward a proposal entitled Session Title: Promoting Small and Medium Business Enterprise on behalf of Segeros International Group Inc.  prepared in collaboration of Vice President of Professor Amanuel Ghebremichael that a session be dedicated to the promotion of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES), having been part and parcel of the World Bank and IMF Spring and Annual Meetings processes attending since 2008 in all conferences they have been hosting in Washington D.C. as one of the representatives of the private sector and civil societies as founder, President and CEO of Segeros International Group Inc. (SIG) and Hope For Tomorrow Non-Profit Organization

As do many economists, she supports the proliferation of SMEs under the concept paper she labeled the Missing Middle Link Concept (MMLC). Missing Middle is the terminology used to describe the dearth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries. Relevant international intergovernmental bodies such as the United Nations and the World Bank and international private organizations are among various bodies that have been working on crafting appropriate policy on promotion of SMEs in due regard of their importance as the driving engines of modern economies. In 1998 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Handbook remarks among other things that Latin America and Africa, there were many micro-enterprises and several large enterprises, but the small and medium-sized enterprises were missing, and notes that in some countries development revolved around large enterprises with consequence of “missing middle” in their businesses and recommends for taking measures and provides recommendations for policy makers in developing countries to promote the development of their small and medium-sized enterprises.

In the same vein, the World Bank recognizes in its public document entitled World Bank Group Review of Small Businesses Activities issued in 2001 by the World Bank Group SME Department notes the importance of the role of the private sector, including micro, small and medium enterprises. It was the year the World Bank Group created a new SME Department to benefit the small businesses to provide more and better assistance to small businesses.

As the World Bank’s bodies namely the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), and International Development Association (IDA) report of September 2015 entitled Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Finance September 1, 2015 indicates nearly 70 percent of all MSMEs in growing economies do not have access to credit, which is particularly acute in Africa and Asia as reflected in the graph of the report herein below.

In light of such challenging circumstances, her company Segeros International Group Inc., (SIG) has been activate in prompting SMEs around the world including SMEs enterprises in Africa and developing countries, supporting them to become big companies in various business activities including manufacturing, exports and imports on all levels viz. locally, regionally and international.

The underlying principles related to trade capacity building requirements of SMEs as outlined herein below are part and parcel of SIG’s  mission and vision:

  • Improving physical infrastructure that encompasses electricity, transportation, water and sanitation, and enhancing information and communication technology including the digital platform networks which in combination would help the SMEs to operate efficiently and in a cost effective way.
  • Reinforcing financial sector towards broadening Financial Inclusion that aims to unlock growth opportunity and improve the standard of living of society as whole, especially the poor, by increasing access to helpful financial tools that involves effective and safe financial services including savings, insurance, payments, and credit and financial literacy.
  • Policy and regulatory reforms and expanding vocational and technical training that would facilitate the development of the private sector especially SMEs
  • Enlarge intra, regional and international trade networks that is driven by SMEs collaboration, partnership and linkages from different countries in order to uplift economies of relevant societies in developing countries

She developed her Missing Middle Link Concept paper in her interaction at World Bank and IMF Spring and Annual Meetings attending Seminars and other related conferences and workshops on finance and development designed to foster creative dialogue among the private sector, government delegates and senior Bank and Fund officials since 2008, in her capacity as international business entrepreneur and representative of civil society.

She has been participating in the Civil Society Programs that encompasses CSO RoundTable with World Executive Directors, IMF and WBG staff, CSO representatives (community groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, and foundations, and other non-for-profit organizations) , government officials, academics, Parliamentarians, Think-Tanks, women and Youth Leaders private sector, journalists and other stakeholders, and a Civil Society Forum with over 50 policy dialogue sessions mostly so as to dialogue and exchange views on a wide range of topics, including efforts to tackle poverty reduction, boost shared prosperity, secure financial stability, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth around the world. She used the forums running from 2008 to 2010 to express my vision of MMLC as the various topics are in one way or other reflected in my MMLC. CSO representatives participating in the Spring Meetings and the Civil Society Policy Forum are accredited who have a truck record of engagement in international development policy operations and/or dialogue on issues relevant to the work of the Bank Group and IMF and to assure as clarified on the Spring and Annual Meetings website.

Then, in 2011World Bank  and IMF annual meeting , after attending four consecutive World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings, she conversed with former president Robert Zolleck, where executive directors and managers of The World Bank and IMF Departments and Divisions along with Officials of international and regional Multilateral Development Banks, Ministers of Finance and Development of all countries of the world, think tanks, researchers, economists, lawyers, journalists, civil society representatives, and other interested observers gathered in Washington DC in which the joint World Bank-IMF Development Committee and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee played central role, in discussing progress on the work of the World Bank and IMF, informing him her outlook the need a much focused need of further initiatives to support growth of SMEs on the part of the World Bank and IMF Annual Meeting forums. He told her to submit her Missing Middle Link Concept to the International Finance Corporation (IFC). Following the communication between the former World Bank President Mr. Zolleck and IFC following which the IFC Vice President Business Advisory services arranged a meeting between her IFC senior officials with responsibilities on Finance work for Small and Medium Sized enterprises including Global Head of Products Access and Financial Advisory; Principal Investment Officer of Global Manufacturing Agribusinesses and Service Department in which meeting she elaborated on her concept paper of MMLC infusing it with her real life experiences as she started pursuing her career citing as well her previous interaction on the subject matter with IFC the Principal Investment Officer Global Financial Market and IFC’s Banking and Women Specialists in Global Financial Matters. Furthermore, she shared her MMLC concept in the 2013 IMF – World Bank Spring Meetings, to advance financial inclusion for women co-sponsored by The World Bank, IFC, and the Russia’s G20 Presidency (Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation) that sponsored various events: Financial Access for All; Women and Finance: Pathways to Financial Inclusion; Driver for Women’s Development; Models for Financing Women Entrepreneurs; Women and financial inclusion, and G20 Financial Inclusion Indicators Launch. All the events featured