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Malé, July 11, 2020:  The Maldives Business Center Corporation (BCC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Maldives is partnering to conduct a series of dialogues to directly support Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) in Maldives to respond to and recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis. The first in the series of five dialogue sessions was launched today.


The BCC MSME Crisis Response and Recovery series aims to deliver timely and actionable guidance to MSMEs in Maldives on measures to take and sources of support available to respond to and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The series also aims to collect first-hand experience on how the COVID-19 crisis is impacting Maldivian MSMEs to inform policy and programmatic responses, in conjunction with other assessment methods.


“With MSMEs representing an overwhelming majority of businesses in our economy, BCC greatly welcomes and encourages coordinated efforts to develop the MSME community in Maldives to survive and overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 crisis. Through this timely National Dialogue on MSME Response and Recovery, we hope to deliver useful insight, guidance and essential resources for existing small businesses and also assist policy levers in addressing sustained and equitable recovery of the MSME economy,” said Fazleena Fakir, Managing Director of Business Center Corporation.


Through the dialogue series, BCC will play a coordination function bringing in expert speakers, including other entrepreneurs; and signposting MSMEs to further sources of support and information. Beyond survival of the crisis, the series seeks to support MSMEs to increase their long-term resilience and competitiveness. The content of the series is designed to bridge into further MSME capacity building through the regional Business Centre’s. The five-part series will be conducted in Dhivehi and will touch upon:


Session 1: Intelligence and Business Continuity Planning

Session 2: How to Reduce Fixed Operating Costs to Protect Solvency

Session 3: How to Pursue an Appropriate Financing Strategy for Your Business

Session 4: How to Maintain Supply and Distribution Channels and Market Access

Session 5: How to Transform Your Business for New and Future Market Opportunities


As the organisation under the Ministry of Economic Development mandated to support the development of the SME sector in the Maldives, BCC will lead the dialogues in collaboration with UNDP. UNDP will draw on experience and resources aligned with the UN Framework for the Socio-Economic Response to COVID-19 and UNDP’s COVID-19 MSME support offer.


UNDP is assisting the Government to determine the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and its response on the self-employed, and on MSMEs. The rapid livelihoods assessments undertaken as part of this support provided the initial forecast to develop a timely impact mitigation and economic response plan.


“UNDP remains committed to strengthening support for SMEs, and this is one of the many ways we are working with partners to support the national response to COVID-19. We continue to rely on evidence-based insight and use our global resources and expertise to help the Maldives develop the local solutions needed to build back better and greener from this crisis,” said Akiko Fujii, UNDP Maldives Resident Representative speaking at the launch of the National Dialogues.







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