Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), including micro enterprises (then referred to as MSMEs), are the backbone of many local economies. As such, supporting their capacity to prepare, respond and recover from disasters is an essential approach to building disaster resilient livelihoods and communities.
When a disaster strikes, large companies typically have a business continuity plan in place. But SMEs, which usually form part of their supply chains, do not. During a crisis, they will struggle between attending to their families and employees, protecting their assets and ensuring that critical activities will be able to resume. As a consequence, disrupted operations of SMEs affect the capacity of local economies as a while to recover in disaster-stricken areas.
CBi focuses on helping SMEs to improve resilience of societies and businesses, through the SME Resource Hub which features different knowledge products developed by and for CBi Member Networks.
The initiative also offers technical guidance support for MSMEs-related initiatives by CBi Member Networks and other private sector networks.
Most CBi Member Networks provide business continuity planning and disaster risk reduction (DRR) training activities to SMEs partners and members. Specific Member Networks have also supported MSMEs through impact assessments, advocacy efforts (e.g., pulse surveys) and information campaigns as well as technical and financial assistance.
Examples from our Member Networks include:
- The Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) launched an online one-stop shop business recovery hub called SIKAP that offers business recovery services (e.g., information on livelihood recovery grants, mentoring and technical assistance) based on a customized SMEs Business Recovery Journey Tracker. PDRF will also develop a recovery guidebook using strategic foresight techniques.
- In partnership with Oxfam, the Vanuatu Business Resilience Council (VBRC) implemented a mobile-based cash transfer project using blockchain technology to help Cyclone Harold affected families purchase goods and services from local businesses.