The pandemic’s impact on health, livelihoods, and the economy is extensive, undermining progress made on the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. Such a threat requires coordinated, multi-sector, multi-stakeholder approaches tailored to specific country contexts. Global and national level efforts are needed to support governments in achieving sustainable economic recovery. While urgent attention is required to mitigate the immediate and acute negative effects of the pandemic, we also have an opportunity to recover better together toward a greener, more sustainable, equitable and resilient world. The private sector, with its significant knowledge, capacity, and resources, are indispensable partners in this effort.
Like all segments of society, businesses have largely been severely impacted by COVID-19. But as a provider of technology, innovation, skills, services, and employment, the private sector is also an essential actor in the pandemic response. Businesses of all sizes, whether global multinational companies or local small and medium enterprises (SMEs), must strive arm-in-arm with the public sector to recover from COVID-19’s multiple impacts.
Our solution areas
Central to public-private recovery efforts must be a comprehensive strategy to safeguard SMEs who are a critical provider of employment, goods, and services to their communities and engines of economic development to their nations. Because SMEs are particularly vulnerable to shocks generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, strengthening and sustaining the resilience of these crucial socioeconomic actors is a principal focus of the Global Facility. Providing capacity building and support to SMEs can help to bridge the crisis and seize the opportunity for economic transformation - towards societal resilience and sustainability, with SMEs as the foundation for a new economy.
The Global Facility's 5 solution areas to promote SME resilience are:
Empowering SMEs with digital capabilities: Accelerating a holistic sustainable digital transformation for SMEs through training, mentoring, sharing best practices, and creating spaces for SMEs to connect with service providers.
Building e-commerce opportunities: Developing sustainable e-commerce capabilities of SMEs and cross-border suppliers through programmes on upskilling and digital solutions.
Integrating SMEs into procurement, supply chains, and essential services - Supporting SMEs to lead a transition to sustainability and responsible business through the transformation of procurement, sourcing, and the delivery of essential goods and services
Boosting access to capital: Facilitating the coordination of SMEs to collectively approach lenders to negotiate access to capital, with the objective of providing easier access to liquidity for each SME and applying revenue-sensitive interest rates.
Benefiting SMEs through collective action and coordination: Convene SMEs by sector to support collective action - enabling dialogue with a) government and b) larger enterprises.
The 5 global solution areas listed above incorporate the four key characteristics which are central to the Global Facility’s vision:
They are aligned with the Global Facility objectives and the Theory of Change
They leverage the strengths and contributions of the Global Facility partners
They can act as a catalyst for country-level initiatives and cooperation
They are replicable and adaptable to different countries and economies
Robust public-private and private-private collaboration can yield transformational change as we emerge from the pandemic. Naturally, each country’s challenges and opportunities vary, and adaptability is at the core of how the Global Facility operates. Whether at a global or national level, the Global Facility aims to co-create approaches that are tailored to both the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic and the specificities of the local public and private sectors.
Alignment with SDGs and the UN Global Compact Ten Principles
Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals and the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles, the Global Facility supports a multisectoral, whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to face the multidimensional nature of the crisis. Recovery efforts focus on how to rebuild more inclusive economies and societies, to set a new course for a socially just, low-carbon, and climate-resilient world where no one is left behind.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a blueprint to build back a more sustainable and resilient future for all. This requires a long-term perspective while dealing with the immediate risks posed by the global pandemic. By leveraging the SDGs as a framework for collective multi-hazard risk mitigation and resilience, the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility enables innovative policy frameworks and new opportunities for cooperation. In particular, Goals 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), 13 (Climate Action) and 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) provided motivation for the creation of the Global Facility in the spirit of Leave No One Behind.
The Global Facility is also aligned with the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact. The private sector has been acutely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 10 principles of the UN Global Compact affirm the belief that businesses exist to serve and advance their societies, and their success cannot come at the cost of social or environmental regression.
Recovery efforts will focus on how to rebuild more inclusive economies and societies, by providing capacity building and support to SMEs to respond to the crisis and seize the opportunity for economic transformation towards societal resilience and sustainability.
The countries selected for the launch of the work of the facility was considered on the basis of several aspects, such as the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, the network connection to initiating partners, the capacity of local partners, socio-economic assessment, cooperation readiness, geographical balance, and possible regional spillover.
Initial projects will focus on the countries of Colombia, Ghana, the Philippines, and Turkey due to synergies between the Global Facility partners. Both the geographic scope and partnership will expand as the Global Facility evolves, tailoring the solutions and cooperation to national contexts. Country-level solutions are designed and implemented in the four initial countries, following a phased approach:
Understand the country-specific needs and set up the public private cooperation
Establish working dialogue, facilitate public-private cooperation and private-private cooperation
Implement and operationalize solutions and continue capacity building programs for SMEs