The importance of scientific research in facilitating informed decision making for economic development of a country cannot be over emphasized. Across the globe, the development sector is increasingly relying on evidence based solutions, for formulating policies and designing initiatives for sustainable growth and development. For developing countries, however, the biggest challenge in this regards is deficiency of mechanisms to collect the required data; and lack of expertise to analyze it for developing policies and projects. In short, developing countries lack a strong research culture.
The case of Pakistan is precisely the same. Our economic landscape is dominated by small and medium enterprises (SMEs), yet there is relative neglect in academic and research institutions of the country in scientifically studying the unique characteristics and challenges of the SME sector and consequently devising solutions for various stakeholders.
SMEs constitute 99% of economic establishments, contribute 40% to GDP, add 25% to manufacturing value added and provide 78% of non-agriculture jobs in the country. There are no two opinions, among policy makers, that SME sector needs to be strengthened as an engine for sustainable economic growth, and initiation of SME focused research is a key step towards this end. There is also wide agreement that instigating such a culture invariably calls for collaboration of industry, academia, government, and development agencies.
1st National SME Conference is a step towards this direction. The conference will bring together SME representative bodies, academia, concerned government departments, international development agencies, financial institutions, large scale enterprises, and researchers. It will underscore the challenges and prospects of SME sector in Pakistan, and furnish declamations for all stakeholders, in general; and policy makers in particular.
We welcome case studies, empirical and conceptual scholarly contributions related to SME Sector of Pakistan. It may include any topics/issues related to SME sector of Pakistan.