Groundbreaking study by the ILO: employment and enterprise support policies must aim much more at SMEs in order to be effective

published: 21-11-2019

This ground-breaking study, written a.o. by Jan de Kok from Panteia and by ILO’s experts, reveals that the importance of small enterprises, micro enterprises and self-employed can hardly be overrated. Policies aiming to improve the number of jobs or the quality of employment in these countries, cannot do so without paying specific attention to the needs and requirements of these specific size classes.


The findings from this study will set the tone for employment and enterprise support policies worldwide for the next few years.


For developed economies it is already well-known that a large share of total employment is provided by small enterprises. For the first time, this kind of information has become available for many other countries as well. The ILO study shows that, in almost all of the 99 countries included, small enterprises, micro enterprises and self-employed make up more than two-thirds of total employment. These results are based on a new ILO database that draws on national household and labour force surveys from 99 countries in all the world regions except for North America. This database covers both the formal and the informal sector, which makes it possible to estimate the employment contribution of informal enterprises as well. This is especially important for low-income countries, since the employment share of the informal sector is higher among countries with a lower per capita income level (in several low-income countries, more than 90% of all employment can be found in the informal sector). The employment contribution of the informal sector is especially high in agriculture, which is dominated by the self-employed, almost all of whom work under informal arrangements.


You can find the report here

Contact us

Would you like to know more? 

Call us on: 079-322 20 00