The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
UNOPS Possibilities Forum heads to Argentina
The two-day event in Buenos Aires focused on giving underrepresented business owners the information needed to help them succeed.
Around the world, local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbones of national economies. Due to structural barriers, however, businesses owned by some groups – including women, youth and people with disabilities – are underrepresented in procurement processes. The UNOPS Possibilities (UP) Forum is helping to change that.
Hosted by UNOPS in partnership with the Argentine Investment and International Trade Agency, the UP Forum provided a diverse group of owners of local MSMEs – including traditionally underrepresented groups – with valuable information and tools.
MSMEs underpin the economies of all countries so it’s important that we engage directly with them to support them in their journey to success."
Topics covered included the importance of networking and training programmes, and – in a session presented by UN Women – some of the unique obstacles and opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
Participants took part in capacity building workshops, heard from local entrepreneurs who shared their tips for success, as well as learned more about tools available from local and national governmental and civil society organizations designed to help them.
In Argentina, 99 per cent of companies have fewer than 200 employees. These types of companies provide 64 per cent of formal private sector employment in the country and account for 44 per cent of Argentina’s Gross Domestic Product.
“Around 120 MSMEs [ … ] acquire[d] skills and tools to develop as future UN suppliers, expanding their long-term growth prospect,” said Juan Pablo Tripodi, Executive President of the Argentine Investment and International Trade Agency.
Participants also explored challenges that underrepresented groups face in becoming successful entrepreneurs, learned how to register as a supplier in the United Nations Global Marketplace and heard about business opportunities with UNOPS.
“I was able to expand my vision and understand that there are a lot of possibilities that I was not considering,” said local businessperson, Lucas Recalde, who participated in the event.
During the event, UNOPS representatives also discussed how the organization is working with the private sector to identify and pilot innovative solutions to drive sustainable development.