The challenge of bringing MSMEs into the formal economy, discussed

18 February 2019 // Karessa Ramos
Banco Adopem

This global challenge was the topic of the address given by Mercedes Canalda, Executive President of Banco Adopem during the ‘Seminar-Workshop on experiences in bringing Latin American and Caribbean MSMEs into the formal economy’. The head of BBVA Microfinance Foundation’s institution in the Dominican Republic stressed the importance of understanding the reality of the small and medium-sized enterprise sector so that authorities and stakeholders can design policies tailored to each context.

Canalda recommended weighing the operational and transactional costs that dissuade the most vulnerable segments from joining the formal economy. She also advised on measuring the success of this transformation in terms of income earned and opportunities created.

SELA, the Latin American and Caribbean Economic System, is aware that in Latin America, a high proportion of businesses in the private sector are informal MSMEs. This is why, along with other significant players in regional development, it organized this seminar-workshop which has gathered experts from the private, public and academic spheres, as well as international bodies, to share their experiences in reducing the proportion of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in the region that operate outside the formal economy.

Participants in the session included speakers from the Center for the Promotion of Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises in Central America (CENPROMYPE), Mexico’s National Entrepreneurs’ Institute (part of the Ministry of Economy), Guatemala’s National Competitiveness Program and Jamaica’s Chamber of Commerce. The panelists described the national strategies they have rolled out to improve their regulatory environment, strengthen their institutions and promote good quality employment by bringing MSMEs into the formal economy, among other programs.