We invite you to submit to an upcoming special issue on Building the Competitiveness of Small Enterprises in Asia: Issues and Solutions. In recent times, Asia has become one of the world’s epicenters for economic growth with a total population of almost 4.5 billion and the highest number of small-medium enterprises of any region in the world. These SME enterprises are crucial for providing employment in the region, as well as enabling a greater distribution of wealth. However, sustaining economic growth and sharing wealth can only be achieved if these enterprises are truly competitive.
In 2016, the Asia Council for Small Business (ACSB) hosted a conference in Jakarta where delegates identified and discussed the critical challenges and opportunities facing SMEs in the Asia region. The conference recognized the following as some of the key issues facing small businesses in several Asian countries:
- Developing an entrepreneurship mindset is still an issue for some countries because of the working culture. Many people choose to work in public, private, or multinationals rather than start their own business.
- Optimism of the people is important in the development of business creation and growth.
- Human capital is a big issue as poor competencies will affect the execution of the business and often result in the failure of the ideas or businesses.
- Lack of funding and access to investors is a major challenge across all countries.
- There is generally a poor capability regarding building networks, whether individually or institutionally, because of a lack of confidence.
- Small enterprises are still not aggressive enough in seizing opportunities to expand their business.
- Government support is crucial for the development of small enterprises.
- There is low awareness regarding the strategic importance of innovation as the foundation for building competitiveness and securing sustainable business.
- A low-cost approach is widely adopted as the common business practice, but creating differentiation based on innovation is lacking even though this is the source for making better margins.
However, the issues highlighted are just the tip of the iceberg as so many other substantial issues also exist. Additionally, the issues identified cover only some Asian countries and even for these, comprehensive solutions have not been identified. Overall, it has been noted that all the issues detected are pointing to one big issue – lack of competitiveness. This means that policy-makers urgently need to answer several intriguing questions: How can small enterprises in Asia build their competitiveness locally, regionally, and even globally? What factors might affect small enterprises in building their capabilities and competencies? What should be the ideal ecosystem that can facilitate small enterprises to harness business opportunities and sustain their existence in free, open, and yet tough competition?
Recommended topics will focus on small enterprises only in Asia and might include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Relationship of dynamic capabilities and small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Relationship of marketing ambidexterity and small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Relationship of market orientation and small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Enhancing small enterprises’ competitiveness through higher productivity: managing assets utilization effectively and business operation efficiently
- Financial management of small enterprises’: issues, complications, and solutions
- Business landscape analysis of small enterprises: market dynamics (past, present, and future) and its implications to small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Services aspect of small enterprises: process, people, and technology
- Utilization of internet/social media and its implication to small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Business model or blueprint of competitive small enterprises
- Critical factors in establishing, managing, and developing competitive small enterprises
- Characteristics of competitive small enterprises
- Relationship of entrepreneurship and small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Role of marketing in enhancing competitiveness of small enterprises
- Human capital issues and their implications to small enterprises’ competitiveness
- How creativity (from ideation to execution) affects small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Identification of tangible and intangible resources relevant for supporting small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Small enterprises’ capability in utilizing its tangible and intangible resources to gain competitiveness
- IPR issues of small enterprises (patents, brands, designs, etc.)
- Strategy options for small enterprises in expanding their business
- Roles of government, academicians, and other stakeholders (such us investors including angel investors) in facilitating and enhancing small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Ecosystem analysis of small enterprises: dependencies and interdependencies
- Readiness level of small enterprises in competing and/or cooperating with big companies
- Innovation capacity/management of small enterprises and how it affects small enterprises’ competitiveness
- Human spirit perspective as the foundation in securing small business sustainability
Submissions should be made via Small Enterprise Research's ScholarOne Manuscripts system: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/rser
Further instructions for authors can be found here.
- Guest Editor: Jacky Mussry, MarkPlus, Inc., ICSB Indonesia, Indonesia Marketing Association, Institut Teknologi Bandung (firstname.lastname@example.org)