Definition Of Smes Across The World Economics Essay

Maujean ( 1996 ) stated, “ The definition of SMEs is hard to do and are different harmonizing to states political constructions, geographical restraints, natural and economic resources and historical backgrounds ” . However, by and large, some common parametric quantities are adopted in specifying SMEs such as figure of employees, sum of capital invested, entire sum of assets, one-year turnover, production capacity and engineering.

Definition of SMEs in Mauritius

As stipulated before, there is no cosmopolitan definition of SMEs, therefore for Mauritius, the definition of the SMEDA Act is provinces that SME includes endeavors in all economic sectors and the turnover standard is used to specify a house. A Small Enterprise is defined as an endeavor which has an one-year turnover of non more than Rs10 million and less than 50 employee whereas a medium endeavor is one with one-year turnover of more than Rs10 million but non more than Rs50 million and less than 200 employees.

Definition of SMEs across the universe:

In Europe three parametric quantities are used to specify SMEs. The micro entities are companies with up to 10 employees and turnover less than a‚¬2m whereas little companies have less than 50 employees and turnover less than a‚¬10m while moderate-sized companies have less than 250 employees and turnover of less than a‚¬50m. Each EU member provinces have single definitions of SMEs for case Germany had a bound of 255 employees while for Belgium it was 100.

By and large, SMEs in Malaysia are defined as companies with the one-year gross revenues turnover which does non transcend RM 25 million or non transcending 150 full clip employees.

In India, a micro endeavor is where the investing in works and machinery does non transcend Rs2.5 million. A little endeavor is whereby investing is more than Rs.2.5 million but does non transcend Rs.50 million and a medium endeavor holding investing more than Rs.50 million but less than Rs.100 million.

In Canada, little concerns employ fewer than 100 workers and moderate-sized concerns have fewer than 500 employees. New Zealand defines SMEs with 19 or fewer employees.

SMEs in Mauritius and across the universe:

There is turning acknowledgment worldwide that SMEs have an of import function to play in the present circumstance ( Bhargava, 2004 ) and little concerns are frequently seen as the anchor of developing economic systems, like Mauritius. They contribute to wider economic and societal ends such as growing, productiveness, competition and foreign exchange coevals, monetary value stableness, regional development, and societal and economic equality. Hall ( 1995 ) identifies SMEs as a beginning of making employment, invention, bring forthing exports among others. It is true to observe that with the workings of MNCs, the part of little to medium sized concerns to do the planetary economic system should non be ignored.

The restraints facing SMEs are practically similar in all states irrespective of their economic development and the most cited restraints that hamper the development of a vivacious SME sector can be summarized on issues like entree to finance, engineering and markets ( OECD, 2002 ) . The two diagrams below show the internal and external restraints faced by local SMEs

Internal factors:

External factors:

The economic success of the Mauritanian economic system can non be entirely attributed to big endeavors since the entrepreneurial function of SMEs has besides contributed to the impressive public presentation of the island in the late eightiess. Doubtless, a major strength for many SMEs is their close client contact and their ability to keep that relationship. A recent research conducted by the Mauritius Research Council ( MRC ) , indicated that the current strong political and economic tendencies towards globalisation show houses have to get by with the effects of increased international competition. Research has pointed that the chief donees of the globalisation procedure would be larger endeavors, at the disbursal of SMEs. Hence, constructing up the competitory border of SMEs and bettering their operational efficiency is important.


Globalization is an interesting phenomenon since it is obvious that the universe has been altering towards increasing economic, fiscal, societal, cultural, political, market and environmental mutuality among states. Given these alterations, globalisation brings about a borderless universe ( Eden & A ; Lenway, 2001 ) . Globalization drives people to alter their ways of life, prompts houses to alter their ways of carry oning concern and goad states to set up new national policies.

The alterations in the environment evoked by the globalisation procedure include:

turning competition in the universe markets ;

greater supply for high quality goods in relation to demand ;

increased inventions in the production procedure ;

alterations in industrial production- stuff and energy-saving merchandises are being used ;

increasing significance of selling and strategic direction ;

turning outlooks of clients every bit far as new merchandises and services are concerned.

Globalization of the economic system is caused, among other things, by the undermentioned factors:

Technological 1s ( computing machines, cyberspace, nomadic phones, satellite telecommunication, conveyance, among others )

Economic 1s ( development of trans-national corporations, national economic systems have opened their markets to the influx of goods and foreign capital, development of stock exchanges, among others )

Political 1s ( enlargement of international corporations, democratisation and making free markets in the economic systems in many developing states, among others ) .

Hill ( 2005 ) identifies five factors that underlie the tendency towards greater globalisation.

Worsening trade and investing barriers

After the Great Depression and the Second World War, developed states have opted to take barriers to international trade and foreign direct investing. This resulted in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ( GATT ) . After a figure of unit of ammunitions of dialogues between states, the GATT was extended to cover services, rational belongings rights and finally the World Trade Organization ( WTO ) was established following the Uruguay Round in 1994. The WTO is a lasting organic structure that is responsible for set uping and further intrenching regulation based trade and for pull offing the regulation based world-trading system ( Hill 2003 ) . The WTO rank is presently over 150 from an initial 23.

These developments have contributed to lower barriers and limitations on capital flows which have boosted universe trade growing. These have in bend facilitated the globalisation of markets and production.


Throughout history trade has been helped by all mode of proficient progresss. With progresss in different manners of conveyance, the costs of conveyance have fallen. For case, development of containerization in the transportation industry has made transit of goods easier and cheaper. Jet travel has enabled the rapid and widespread motion of people and goods across national boundary lines ( Hill 2003 ) .

Furthermore microprocessors are the implicit in constituents that have fuelled the promotion in planetary communications. These include orbiter, ocular fiber and radio communications every bit good as the calculating revolution that has borne the Internet, the worldwide web and provided the possibilities of e-commerce ( Hill 2003 ) . With the costs of communicating and calculating steadily falling, it is now much easier to reach people in any country of the universe.

Technological progresss have non merely aided the motion of goods but besides that of capital. Rescuers and investors in developing states will no longer be confined to their low returning domestic market and therefore puting in foreign market hence conveying down hazard of their portion portfolio.

Changing universe order

There has been a displacement in political political orientation in the late eightiess from a autumn in communism to a more democratic universe. More free market policies are made which are in bend contributing to globalisation.

Convergence of Industrialization Strategy towards an export oriented platform

The classical economic experts perceived trade as an engine of growing. But, by the 1950s, it was obvious trade was non holding the expected propulsive effects because of imperfectnesss in international trade. Consequently, many states adopted an import-substitution scheme in a command to cut down their import dependence ( Hirschman, 1968 ) .

Import permutation scheme involved a high degree of protection, via duties, import limitation steps and quotas. Besides the authorities used investing licence, differential revenue enhancements, revenue enhancement vacations, freedoms and remittals to act upon resource allotment. Hence domestic demand rose, employment was provided and the long term productive capacity of the economic system strengthened.

However, the overpowering consensus is that import permutation was a failure ( Schmitz, 1984 ) . The scheme turned out to be self-defeating ensuing in immense additions in import of equipment, severe drain on foreign exchange, high engineering unsuited to less developed states.

As a consequence, in the late 60s the function of exports was seen as an engine of growing. The export oriented scheme non merely encourages free trade but besides free motion of capital, labour, endeavors and an unfastened system of communicating. It besides entailed more efficient allotment of resources with houses viing internationally.

Emergence of Regional Trade Blocks

Due to globalisation, many-sided and bilateral understandings among states in the African part are speed uping. The procedure of integrating and the changing nature of regional trade and capital flows pose new challenges to up and coming SMEs. The procedure of economic integrating is when a group of states in the same part articulation together to organize an economic brotherhood or regional trading axis by raising a common duty wall against non-member states while liberating internal trade among members. This is seen as a partial liberalisation enterprise and is the first measure towards complete liberalisation which is propounded by the WTO.

Regional integrating:

It is true to observe that regional integrating has gained impulse in recent old ages driven in portion by planetary tendencies and Acts of the Apostless as an economic endurance scheme to battle marginalisation from the planetary economic system. Globalization can moreover be defined as a procedure by which the economic systems of the universe become progressively incorporate taking to a planetary economic system with planetary economic policy devising, through international bureaus as the WTO.

Regional integrating is a agency to accomplishing superior economic growing and poorness decrease by spread outing trade and investing, bettering regional substructure and connectivity, advancing macroeconomic stableness, and widening fiscal integrating ( MCB Focus, 2012 ) . The undermentioned illustration reflect different degrees of battle taken by member states to reduce/eliminate barriers to international trade every bit good as facilitate payments and factor mobility within the relevant economic axis.

Phases of regional integrating

Composed of smaller provinces sharing a cardinal authorities, a political brotherhood is recognized internationally as a individual political entity, e.g. United kingdom

Involves coordination and harmonisation of national economic policies, including exchange rate policy ( common currency ) and pecuniary policies, e.g. Euro country, European Union

In add-on to free trade with the brotherhood, there is a common external duty among non-member states, e.g. SACU, EAC

Encompasses intra-union free trade, a common external duty against non-member states every bit good as free motion of factors of production ( labour & A ; capital ) within the brotherhood, e.g. European Economic Community

Way to regional integrating

Involves the riddance ( or decrease ) of trade barriers between member states, while keeping trade barriers for non-member states, e.g. NAFTA, ASEAN, SADC, COMESA

The regional integrating procedure in Africa has its roots in the Charter of the Organization of African Unity which came into force in 1963, that subsequently translated into the Abuja Treaty which was signed in 1991 and entered into force in 1994. Specifically for Mauritius, greater engagement in regional axis provides a solid chance to diversify and entrench markets for the exports of goods and services ( MCB Focus, 2012 ) . Trade axis are intergovernmental associations that manage and promote trade activities for specific parts of the universe. Below, an overview of the regional groupings is given.


The Southern African development Coordination Conference ( SADCC ) was transformed into the Southern African Development Community ( SADC ) in 1992. The vision of the SADC is a common hereafter paving the manner for economic wellbeing, betterment of the criterions of life and quality of life, freedom, societal justness, peace and security for Southern Africa.


In 1994, the COMESA was formed to replace the former Preferential Trade Area ( PTA ) which had existed since 1981. The chief purpose is to cut down and finally extinguish duty and non-tariff barriers to intra-COMESA trade. Besides to speed up structural accommodation in the member province economic systems and enable endeavors to go more internationally competitory. A Clearing House was set up in whereby the Bank of Mauritius Acts of the Apostless as the Settlement Bank.


The Indian Ocean Commission was created in 1984 by virtuousness of the Victoria understanding to spearhead big undertaking direction enterprises for the proviso of regional public goods.


The East African Community ( EAC ) is to advance a comfortable, competitory, secure and stable East Africa and to widen and intensify economic, political, societal and cultural integrating to better quality of life of people.

Tripartite Free Trade Area

In order to minimise and finally extinguish the contradictions created by overlapping ranks ( spaghetti-bowl consequence ) , three regional trading axis ( SADC, COMESA, EAC ) planned to apologize and harmonise the trade agreements through the creative activity of a expansive Free Trade Area among the three axis referred to as the Tripartite Free Trade Area ( T-FTA ) . It will usually consist an incorporate market with a combined population of some 600 million people and a entire GDP of around USD1 trillion. It intends to cover 26 three-party states. The T-FTA purposes to help in spread outing intra-Africa trade, advancing cooperation among regional economic communities and besides easing joint resource mobilisation and undertaking execution. The T-FTA will be in consequence as from June 2014.

As a consequence, globalisation leads to interrupting down of trade and regulative barriers between regional states therefore leting for the free motion of people, goods, and services across the part, making an effectual individual market. This is expected to further competition and investing, therefore lending to the relief of poorness through wealth creative activity ( MCB Focus, 2012 ) .

However, there seems to be a via media that the success of all the RECs in accomplishing their aims has been less than satisfactory ( Johnson, 1995 ; Lyakurwa, 1997 ) . Lyakurwa ( 1997 ) argues that deficiency of a strong and sustained political committedness and macroeconomic instability among others have impeded the advancement of economic integrating in Africa. Traditional theories of trade, which assume changeless returns to scale, supply a limited practical penetration to regional integrating policy issues, more peculiarly in developing states such as in Africa. Krugman ‘s ( 1991 ) ‘economic geographics ‘ theoretical account efforts to explicate the determiners of regional concentration of economic activity. However this theoretical account is yet to be tested and explored. In other words, it is implied that cut downing trade costs will add to production efficiency ( Lyakurwa, 1997 ) .

Another ground for the failure of regional integrating in some African part is the fright of some states, peculiarly the hapless 1s is that the few industries they have may migrate to comparatively more advanced neighbours. While substructure is seen as an obstruction to intra-Africa trade, it besides represents clear additions for all the states involved in regional cooperation.

The popular theoretical account used to measure regional integrating issues is the gravitation theoretical account, as postulated by Frankel et Al ( 1994 ) . Success or failure of regional integrating enterprise must be evaluated in the context of the aims it sets to accomplish. Furthermore, this suggests that authoritiess failed to implement the pacts they signed. Other jobs impeding public presentation of regional axis were overlapping ranks and hapless private sector engagement.

Levitt ( 1983 ) highlighted that for operating in the international market, companies must be good prepared to disregard the superficial regional and national differences that exists. Many companies strengthen their resource through competence outsourcing. This is because the internal staff of the companies lack the particular expertness needed for executing good in the planetary market.

Costss & A ; benefits of globalisation:

Globalization leads to the fusion of the manner the universe is perceived. It starts to be perceived as a homogeneous integrity where the elements of the economic system and the common civilization of ingestion are purely bound together ( Hutten, 2008 ) .

On the positive side, globalisation enables houses to outsource and happen clients around the universe. The globalisation of production and operations benefits houses through the realisation of economic systems of graduated table and range ( Singh, 2002 ) . Entree to planetary market can offer a host of concern chances such as niche markets, ways of distributing hazards, take downing research and development costs, bettering entree to finance and among others. It moreover establishes a web of international providers to function domestic clients. Global market chances refer to the addition in market potency, trade and investing potency and resource handiness ( Jones, 2002 ; Levitt, 1983 ) .

Global market menaces refer to the additions in the figure and degree of competition and the degree of uncertainness ( Jones, 2002 ) . Globalization is besides understood as a complex multidimensional procedure of intensifying the international work division, increasing turnover in the international trade, escalating flows of capital, people, engineerings and goods, pervading civilizations and increasing dependences among states. Furthermore globalisation has besides thrown out challenges turning inequality across and within states, volatility in fiscal markets and environmental debasements. There is besides growing of unemployment and loss of sovereignty.

Taking into history the menaces ensuing from globalisation, the construct of ‘global administration ‘ seems to go more and more of import. Similarly, Szabo ( 2002 ) proposed a logo for all SMEs in this 3rd Millennium: THINK GLOBAL-ACT GLOBAL.

MNCs & A ; Globalization

Richard Douthwaith ( 1995 ) stated that globalisation has led to the growing of immense multinationals that have replaced many little concerns that created most economic employment. Since MNCs have the capacity and financess to put abroad, enter new markets and better able to fudge against hazards, it was assumed that SMEs would be put out of concern. However this facet was challenged whereby SMEs now compete with assorted international rivals, be they MNCs or other SMEs by introducing and organizing strategic partnerships and confederations in international market place.

Developed & A ; developing states under Globalization:

It is clear that globalisation is an of import phenomenon that can non be merely ignored, because it affects every nation-regardless of size or degree of development. Some developed states provide subsidies and restrict trade so that their houses can be competitory in the planetary markets whereas SMEs in developing states are less competitory when viing with powerful MNCs. The developed universe further involves into the globalisation procedure by taking stairss to maximise its benefits and to ease the accommodations of its demands.

Globalization has aided the SMEs internationalisation through the intensification of FDI influxs and MNCs activities. Firms were supported by authorities policies to get the better of market imperfectnesss. Soon, although many of the developing states of Africa have leaped stairss frontward in taking enterprises and implementing schemes to pull the involvements of FDI, for most of their human, institutional and industrial capacities are still unequal to run into the demands of the planetary market topographic point.

Impact of globalisation on SMEs

Evolving economic systems like Mauritius are seeking to derive competitory advantages to be able to prolong globalisation. Globalization increased the mutuality of assorted national economic systems. It has besides caused the disappearing of boundaries between domestic and international markets. Boundary lines are going less relevant as concerns increase their net incomes abroad ( Knight, 2000 ) . Hence, globalisation gives a positive part among to SMEs. It promotes invention, free motion of market as there are less trade barriers within the parts, changeless reaching of a new scope of merchandises, sharing of new cognition and greater liberalisation of new economic systems. It besides creates unprecedented information and communicating engineering end product.

Therefore, the chances and menaces evoked by globalisation have caused houses to accommodate their organisational constructions and schemes consequently ( Jones 2002 ; Knight 2000 ) . Firms that respond to these tendencies have been found to better their public presentation ( Knight 2000 ) .

However globalisation airss intensified menace for SMEs that are unable or unwilling to vie. Mauritanian SMEs do face many jobs whether at the local or international degrees therefore impeding its resiliency and fight. The jobs that SMEs are confronting are perennial 1s such as deficiency of entree to information, trouble obtaining loans and fiscal aid, deficiency of managerial capablenesss, heavy regulative loads, non-exposure to good direction patterns, low IT use in bettering productiveness and besides high degree of bureaucratism in authorities bureaus. ( NASMEC, 2009 )

Other challenges faced by SMEs in international trade are the impairment of demand, trouble in payment aggregation, limited fiscal resources and the costs of natural stuffs. Local SMEs really frequently lack cognition on legal affairs and another job pertain to the enrollment and other legal trifles involved.

Harmonizing to Hall ( 2005 ) , it is hard for SMEs to happen suited local spouses when they need to be engaged in joint ventures, webs or confederations for internalisation.


SMEs should perpetuate their nucleus capablenesss in order to go more competitory, such as keeping low production cost, advanced design and high quality while keeping the originality of the merchandise. Based on empirical grounds done by Porter ( 1999 ) , the houses that are inconsistent pioneers in making cognition or simply follows modus operandis may confront trouble in developing competitory advantage.

In Japan and Taiwan, unlike germinating economic systems like Malaysia and Mauritius, SMEs started as little endeavors than escaladed their concerns into big companies. SMEs are dependent on these companies and farther plans are organized by the province, heightening SMEs engagement so that they will be more dependable and competitory in covering with their suppliers/ MNCs ( Jin, 2006 ) . Hence, going specialized provider to MNCs can assist cut down restraints confronting local SMEs. The MNCs support the frail SMEs for digesting fiscal viabilities ( Jin, 2006 ) .

SMEs need to vie and stay relevant in the emerging economic systems by beef uping domestic industry and perforating new market chances. Brand direction is of extreme importance for the local SMEs to travel international. Local SMEs deficiency stigmatization schemes and their merchandises frequently lack attractiveness due to hapless packaging. However, concentrating merchandise trade name might blow up cost of local merchandises and lessening turnover and net income border. The recommended attack is therefore to hold a common trade name for all Mauritanian merchandises. The “ Made in Mauritius ” label has to be reinforced in both local and foreign markets.

Besides, SMEs which ab initio started from little concerns operated by household members need to prosecute more professionals like fast turning internationalized companies to be able to vie globally and produce quality merchandises.

Furthermore, the local SMEs demand to better networking and linkages with MNC through industrial bunch agreement, export and processing zones. Clustering can bring forth benefits that increasingly increase the competitory advantage to be able to vie globally. Government besides supports SMEs through subsidies, loans and different plans such as preparation. However, this is besides true that SMEs need to go financially sustainable to cut down excessively much demand on the authorities inducements.

In add-on, it is recommended the SMEs be educated on legal affairs. The Mauritanian authorities should go on supply support services like preparation and mentoring, leting companies to be self-sufficing in their ain research activities so that they can stay within their budgets. Furthermore, attempts are being done to transform Mauritius as a regional cognition hub, a centre of higher acquisition and besides a engineering hub.

SMEs should try to continuously roll up cognition and circulate them efficaciously. Successful SMEs should be urged to portion their schemes with other SMEs so that they can germinate into MNCs which are non dependent on the authorities. Plawgo ( 2009 ) further analyzed in the context of globalisation, it is necessary to run into demands of internationalisation procedures and proper accretion of cognition about international competition, foreign markets and engineerings to accomplish competitory advantage.