WCP Virtual International Conference MSMEs and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities

31.08.2021 Lisa McAuley
WCP Virtual International Conference MSMEs and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities

The COVID-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on the livelihood of each and everyone. Particularly, the MSMEs have been affected by the various measures and policies implemented by governments worldwide. Lockdowns, confinement, travel restrictions, vaccination requirements have all changed the daily routine of entrepreneurs. Being a category that remains highly vulnerable to shocks, MSMEs have been definitely, and sometimes irreversibly, affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The WTO Chairs programmes (WCP) at the University of Mauritius (UoM) is organising a Virtual International Conference on ‘MSMEs and COVID-19: Impacts, Challenges and Opportunities’, with a Special Theme: COVID-19 and the Sustainability of Blue Entrepreneurship.

This virtual conference aims at specifically convening research and discussion focussing on the impacts of the pandemic on MSMEs and providing a forum to academics, policy makers, civil societies, business partners and experts working on issues relating to the impact of COVID-19 on Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMES), new challenges that the pandemic has imposed on them and the recovery measures adopted to circumvent the effects of the pandemic. A special focus will be put on those involved in the blue entrepreneurship sector and on small island developing states, which often remain largely dependent on their blue economy and sustainable ocean stewardship. Small island states, relative to their land mass, have vast ocean resources at their disposal which present a huge opportunity for boosting their economic growth and to tackle unemployment, food security and poverty. The blue economy is thus the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and social equity, alleviation of poverty, creation of jobs, as well as the preservation of the ocean ecosystem. It provides for an inclusive model in which coastal states can begin to extend the benefit of those resources to all by promoting the inclusion and participation of all affected social groups and sectors.

The conference invites conceptual, empirical research presentations, and country context case studies along the conference theme as well as other related issues from all over the globe. Delegates are invited to present completed research papers and/or work in progress.

Submissions and presentations must address both the theoretical and practical implications of the findings. Parallel tracks of refereed presentations will enable authors to obtain constructive feedback on their study. Furthermore, the organisers are hoping to hold a round table, revolving around the conference theme and regrouping academics, stakeholders and policymakers.

The topics considered may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • COVID-19 in Small Island Developing Countries
  • COVID-19 and MSMEs: Impacts, Challenges, Opportunities and Recovery Measures.
  • COVID-19 Employment and Productivity Effects on MSMES
  • COVID-19: SMEs Investment, Innovation and Market Diversification Strategies
  • MSMEs building resilience through trade during COVID-19
  • Assessing the socio-economic effects of COVID-19 and health measures on the blue economy
  • COVID-19 and new opportunities for MSMEs in the blue economy
  • Government policies and the integration of MSMEs in the sustainable blue recovery.
  • COVID-19 and blue entrepreneurship
  • Sustaining blue entrepreneurship in the COVID-19 era
  • Competition Law and Policy for MSMEs in the COVID-19 period
  • COVID-19 and MSMES: The opportunities, challenges and relevance of digital trade
  • Electronic commerce for MSMEs in the COVID-19 era
  • The regulatory responses to COVID-19 and their impacts on MSMEs
  • Regulating the digital economy in the COVID-19 era
  • Access to finance in the COVID-19 period

Find out more HERE.