More than a 1000 Small and Medium-sized business (SMB) owners in nine countries weighed in on a recent UPS survey to tell us how they’re doing, what’s holding them back and how they’re overcoming obstacles.

In India, among the 104 SMBs surveyed, 50 per cent were women. Interestingly, more women-owned businesses are selling online  both pre and post pandemic, although more men-owned businesses made the transition to e-commerce during the pandemic.

According to the findings, access to information has been “very challenging” for 54% of the SMBs engaged in exports. This is followed by navigation of export duties and taxes and facilitation of shipping and trade logistics at 46 per cent each. SMBs also cite supply chain disruptions, learning about and complying with digital laws and regulations, and management of online sale platforms as e-commerce challenges in 2022. SMBs were equally interested in growing their e-commerce exports as they were in expanding in-person sales within the country for the next two years.

Three key survey takeaways:

  1. Expand SMB Access to Information About E-commerce: Government-sponsored trainings and resources could support more access to information about setting up and running e-commerce businesses, complying with digital laws and regulations, and international trade.
  2. Support Supply Chain Resilience: Provide information and resources for SMBs to build more resilient supply chains by forecasting demand and threats, diversifying suppliers, and digitizing supply chain processes.
  3. Strengthen Digital Infrastructure: Expand investment into a broad set of digital tools to address SMBs’ concerns regarding challenges managing e-payments, inventory, returns, and contactless delivery

In India, UPS collaborates with the Ministry of MSME, Government of India, for the India SME Forum, which is a platform to share knowledge and information to better equip the SMBs get exposure to new cross-border business opportunities, and encourage entrepreneurs to scale, innovate, and increase productivity. UPS and The UPS Foundation have collaborated with ITC SheTrades in our shared mission to help women-owned businesses succeed in international markets by providing training, skills, and growth opportunities that allow them to better understand and benefit from international trade.

UPS has expertise in the concern areas cited by SMBs. The more we understand the needs of SMBs, the more we can develop tools, technologies, and solutions designed to help them grow their exports, operate more efficiently, improve their customer experience and advocate for trade policies that level the playing field.

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