Breakout Session Day 3

Post-COVID Sustainability Roadmap For SMEs

30 October 2020 | 15:45 – 17:15 IST


The importance of the SME sector for growth, employment and trade cannot be emphasised enough. Any conversation to foster sustainability is incomplete without the inclusion of the SME sector. There are several initiatives and schemes to support the SMEs to adopt more sustainable practices. However, sustainable initiatives remain constricted to a small segment of the SME sector. The pandemic has further made it challenging for SMEs to integrate responsible and sustainable practices as they struggle to sustain their operations. It is clear that as economies look to recover from the aftermath of COVID, sustainability will be a centre stone for such a recovery. What is the role that SMEs play in enabling them to build back better and how can SMEs be supported as they themselves look to recover from the brunt of the pandemic?

This session proposes to bring various insights from both the international and national contexts to understand the key elements of a sustainability roadmap for the SME sector. 

Session Objectives:

The session will aim to:

  • Deep dive into how SMEs have been adopting and supporting the sustainability agenda
  • Understand how sustainability, if at all, has helped SMEs recover better
  • Explore how the pandemic has impacted the sustainability dialogue in the SME sector
  • Understand how SMEs can be supported in building back better – role of government policies/ schemes, funding, standards, access to finance etc.


Dr. Manish Pande

Director and Head, PAD Division
Quality Council of India

Anil Bhardwaj

Secretary General
Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME)

DR. Aishvarya Raj

Senior Director & Head ZED Division

Petra Walterova

Programme Officer
Trade for Sustainable Development, ITC

Anil Bhardwaj

Senior Economist, UNCTAD
Coordinator, United Nations Forum on Sustainability Standards

Anjana Seshadri

Lead - ESG
Neev Fund, SBICAPS Ventures Ltd