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Schedule of Events

Opening Statements

10 A.M. – 10:40 A.M.

Moderator: Mr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President & CEO, ICSB


H.E. Csaba Kőrösi, President of the General Assembly of the UN (TBC)

H.E. Lachezara Stoeva, President of the Economic and Social Council (TBC)


H.E. Ambassador María del Carmen Squeff, Permanent Representative of Argentina to the United Nations

H.E. Ambassador Matthew Wilson, Permanent Representative andAmbassador of Barbados

Mr. Gerd Müller, Director-General, UN Industrial Development Organization

Ms. Rebeca Grynspan, Secretary-General of UN Conference on Trade & Development

Gilbert F. Houngbo, International Labour Organization Director-General

Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, International TradeCentre

Mr. Li Junhua, under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs

Mr. Winslow Sargeant, Chair of the Board, ICSB

Plenary 1: Global Ecosystem to Support MSMEs

Organized by: UNIDO | Live Moderation: UNIDO

10:40 A.M. – 11:25 A.M.

Moderator: Mr. Ralf Bredel, Director and Representative to the United Nations, UNIDO


H.E. Sithembiso Nyoni, Minister of Women Affairs, Community and Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Zimbabwe

Mr. Racine Sarr, Founder at Shopmeaway, 


Mr. Jo Kyoo-il, Mayor, Jinju City, Republic of Korea 


Ms. Anne Chappaz, Chief, Institutions and Ecosystems, International Trade Centre


Mr. Joel Nelson, Cargill, Global Leader, External Innovation 


Ms. Ibtihel Ben Hadj Mbare, General Manager and Founder of Herbalya 

Plenary 2: Women – Challenges & Opportunities

11:25 A.M. – 12:10 P.M.

Moderator: Mr. Amson Sibanda, Chief, National Strategies and Capacity Building Branch, Division for Sustainable DevelopmentGoals, DESA and Ms. Virginia Rose Losada WED Global Coordinator, SME Unit, ILO


Ms. Lisa Skeete Tatum, Founder and CEO of Landit 


Ms. Obianuju Uzo-Ojinnaka, Founder at Traders of Africa


Mr. Sandeep Chachra, CEO of ActionAid India


Mrs. Claudia Mazari Torres, Mayor of Puente de Ixtla, Mexico


Ms. Franziska Giffey, Former Governing Mayor of Berlin


Ms. Suyesha Sthapit, Executive Director; Federation of WomanEntrepreneurs' Associations of Nepal (FWEAN)


Ms. Christine Virtucio, CEO & Founder of Virtucio Designs

Plenary 3: Role of Youth in Supporting MSMEs Achieve the SDGS | (Youth Representatives)

12:10 P.M. – 12:55 P.M.

Moderator: Mr. Skye Blanks, ICSB COO


ITC Pre-Recorded Ecopreneur Video


Mr. Muhammad Sarim Raza, Co-founder at Mawesh E- Mandi


Ms. Francesca Milocco (Project Coordinator of NanoValbruna, Board member of ReGeneration Hub Friuli)


Mr. Stefano Cercelletta (Contest Coordinator of NanoValbruna, Board member of ReGeneration Hub Friuli)


Mrs. Laura Segura, Manager of Innovation and Services of the ArgentineIndustrial Union

Plenary 4: Supply Chain Issues and Impact on UN SDGS and MSMEs Day

2:00 P.M. – 2:40 P.M.

Moderator: Mr. Winslow Sargeant, Chair ICSB


ITC Pre-Recorded Ecopreneur Video


Mr. Muhammad Sarim Raza, Co-founder at Mawesh E- Mandi


Ms. Francesca Milocco (Project Coordinator of NanoValbruna, Board member of ReGeneration Hub Friuli)


Mr. Stefano Cercelletta (Contest Coordinator of NanoValbruna, Board member of ReGeneration Hub Friuli)


Mrs. Laura Segura, Manager of Innovation and Services of the Argentine Industrial Union

Plenary 5: The Voices of Innovation for MSMES – Global Perspectives

2:40 P.M. – 4:00 P.M.

Moderator: Ms. Analia Pastran, ICSB Director and Co-Chair of theWorld Urban Campaign of UN-Habitat


H.E. Gloria Guevara, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Tourism of SaudiArabia, Sustainable Tourism Global Center (STGC)

H.E. Orkhan Mammadov (Chairman of the Management Board), The Small and Medium Business Development Agency (SMBDA) of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Ms. Vanessa Perry, The George Washington University School ofBusiness Vice Dean for Strategy


Mr. Kichan Kim, Founder of Humane  Entrepreneurship, Professor, Catholic University, S. Korea


Mr. Stefano Bonini, Associate Professor of Finance. StevensInstitute of Technology 


Ms. Unatha Lutshaba, South African Cultural Observatory-Executive Director


Ms. Chrystele Sanon, Qwampus Founder, Coach & Teacher

Plenary 6: Emerging Topics in MSMEs: The Future Ahead

4:00 P.M. – 5:15 P.M.

Moderator: Winslow Sargeant, Chair ICSB




Mr. Tomas Canosa, Undersecretary of MSME of Argentina


Mr. Hartmut-Heinrich Meyer Professor of Business Administration and Entrepreneurship at FOM, Germany


Ms. Vicki Stylianou, Group Executive, Advocacy & Policy - Australia

Mr. Jeff Alves, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of the International Council for Small Business

Mr. Paolo Licata, President BoD & CEO of CO2NVERT


Ms. Martina Tomasetig, HR Manager & Co-founder of CO2NVERT(start-up winner of BAITE Innovation Award)

Ms. Valentina Larini, technology developer of PeroGreen


Mr. Enrico Montanaro, Co-founder & CEO of Agreen Biosolutions(start-up winner of BAITE Innovation Award)


Mr. Gerhard Andrey, Member of the National Council of Switzerland


Rico J. Baldegger, Director and Professor, School of ManagementFribourg


Mr. Christian Meisel, Professor, Hochschule Magdeburg-Stendal University


Mr. Christoph Winkler, Professor & founding program director of the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation,Iona University


Mr. Kyle Lyon, Data Scientist, AI and the Future of MSMEs


Ms. Jennifer Kirkland, Entrepreneur, Better Access to Healthcarefor MSMEs

Closing Remarks

5:30 P.M. – 5:45 P.M.

Moderator: Mr. Ayman ElTarabishy, President & CEO, ICSB Speakers: ICSB and Youth

Concept Note

Galvanizing MSMEs Worldwide by Supporting Women and Youth Entrepreneurship and Resilient Supply Chains 

The United Nations General Assembly designated 27 June as “Micro-, Small, and Medium-sized Enterprises Day” (A/RES/71/279) to raise awareness of the tremendous contributions of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

MSMEs and self-employed workers serve a core function in the development of economies. Globally, they represent about 90 percent of all businesses and account for over two-thirds of employment. If adequately supported, they can effectively contribute to the structural transformation of economies and drive inclusive, sustained, and equitable economic growth and jobs. 

However, multiple simultaneous shocks and crises have disturbed the global working environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs. In addition, conflicts, commodity dependence, geopolitical tensions, and pandemics drive social and economic instability, making MSMEs extremely vulnerable to rising inflation and supply chain disruptions. 

Among the most vulnerable, women- and youth-owned enterprises are often at risk of external shocks. This is when the percentage and overall number of business formations by women and youth are increasing worldwide. However, facing limited access to affordable finance, capacity-building support, partnership networks, and global markets, women and young entrepreneurs need help to overcome the numerous challenges that frequently stifle the growth of their businesses, confining many of them to informality or necessity entrepreneurship. 

Policies that strengthen capacities and support MSMEs development and entrepreneurship for women and youth need to be at the forefront to address those challenges, lower and remove barriers, and provide an operating environment for women- and youth-owned businesses to grow, thus contributing to the full achievement of SDGs 1, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10 and the “leave no one behind” promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

This MSMEs day will also focus on supporting resilient supply chains to ensure workers and the environment benefit. Supply chains are a critical component of global trade and commerce, and conflicts, disasters, and pandemics can quickly impact their functioning, increasing costs and making transactions more difficult. 

In addition, competition and concentration of critical operations in international supply chains can pressure suppliers who are pushed to cut costs to stay in business. Poor working conditions, lack of workers’ representation, unfair wages, unsafe working environments, and reduced attention to environmentally-sound practices generate adverse outcomes. A human-centered approach is needed to help improve these conditions. 

Practices that result in environmental degradation and compromise working conditions will ultimately affect MSMEs and the communities they serve. Therefore, policymakers and businesses must join forces to ensure economically viable, socially, and environmentally sustainable supply chains. 

International MSMEs Day

The International MSMEs Day, observed on June 27th every year, provides an opportunity to highlight the crucial role of MSMEs in sustainable development and advocate for policies that support their growth. The United Nations General Assembly designated June 27th as the International Day for MSMEs in recognition of the importance of MSMEs in promoting economic growth and job creation. Argentina proposed the Day with the International Council for Small Business (ICSB). 

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