According to the data provided by the International Council for Small Business (ICSB), formal and informal Micro-, Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) make up over 90% of all firms and account on average for 60-70% of total employment and 50% of GDP.
MSMEs are considered to be more vulnerable to natural hazards than larger firms, given the more limited range of risk-management mechanisms they can access. Furthermore, MSMEs in developing countries have additional characteristics that can exacerbate their vulnerability which:
- keeps them out of the reach of government Disaster Risk Management programmes and strategies, for example, insurance;
- constrains the ability of MSMEs to diversify their supply and customer base; and
- implies a lack of compliance with norms and regulations that can increase disaster risk for them and for their employees (e.g. operations in informal settlements, lack of social protection for their employees etc.).
MSMEs do not often have Business Continuity Plans in place, like large companies do. However, understanding the disaster risk and taking precautionary measures could help to mitigate many of the risks and help the MSMEs to bounce back after a disaster strikes. CBi Partners have developed some tools for MSME business continuity.