'Heroes of the economy' missing from Davos

Cape Town - While politicians and big business will gather in Davos for the 47th annual World Economic Forum (WEF), the heroes of the economy - small business - is absent from the agenda.

“Only too often when the world’s policy makers discuss the global economic picture, small businesses are excluded from the discussion," according to Sage CEO Stephen Kelly. "This is most evident with the annual World Economic Forum in Davos where small businesses aren’t an item on the agenda."

Alarmingly, he said 60% of respondents in global research by Sage don’t even know the event is taking place. 

"It’s crazy when you consider that small businesses create two thirds of all the jobs in most economies, and represent over 98% of all businesses."
 
Kelly on Monday called for greater representation of small business issues, given the important role that entrepreneurs or business builders play in most economies.

The research published in the run-up to WEF, furthermore suggests that only 17% of small businesses feel represented by politicians in their country’s decision making.  

The data informs us that almost half (46%) of the respondents singled out export opportunities, and grants as being the most important thing that government can do to help them.

Improvements around political stability (45%) was highlighted as the second most important, while creating a stable regulatory environment ranked third (38%).

Source: Sage Forum for Business Builders

Respondents were from Australia, Benelux, Brazil, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, UK and the US.

“Business builders are the heroes of the economy. They toil away long after the rest of us have gone home, making personal sacrifices to grow their businesses, to support their families and build their communities," said Kelly.

"Policy makers and big business must wake up to the fact that these heroes need to be supported and given a voice, if we are to ensure the future health and prosperity of the world’s economy.”

In order to give business builders a platform to connect with policy makers, Sage is launching its ‘Forum for Business Builders’.

It aims to bring entrepreneurs from around the world insights, events and policy-forming partnerships to give them a powerful collective voice that can be heard on the world stage.

The forum is open to all small businesses and will include insights from guest contributors and advisers.

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