The global economy is suffering from an unprecedented shock as a result of COVID-19. With typically tight margins, micro, small and medium businesses are particularly vulnerable to the current economic downturn. Many business owners are struggling to keep their businesses open and support themselves and their families. They need urgent support to ease the immediate impact of the crisis and recover in the long term.
As a global network of enterprise service organisations, YBI is uniquely placed to support business owners during these challenging times. Our members and delivery partners will implement a holistic package of emergency support, reaching over 200,000 underserved micro, small and medium businesses in 32 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific.
The programme will operate in: Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, United Kingdom, Australia, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Egypt, and Israel.
The Rapid Response and Recovery programme will focus on the most affected business owners, particularly underserved business owners including young people (aged 18-35 years), women, and refugees and other migrants
The programme has two key components:
The programme will support small business owners like Chaima Doya, a young entrepreneur in France whose sewing business stopped overnight when the country went into lockdown, leaving her unable to make loan repayments. Now, she has pivoted to making free face masks for nursing staff, supported by YBI’s member in France, Adie. From signposting government support to advising her on how to run a business in isolation and how to resume it once the crisis is over, Adie has been there every step of the way. As Chaima says, “Adie has fully supported me. From the first week of isolation, when my adviser Cécile called to offer to extend the terms of my loan. It touched me that she offered help.”
“I am proud to be an entrepreneur but now I am very afraid. I have never seen anything like the COVID-19 pandemic. All my networks have been broken. I don’t know how I will survive or how to support my workers in this situation. I need some guidance on alternative ways to run my enterprise and regain my confidence ”
“People are staying at home during the COVID-19 crisis and that decreases the use of our app, which helps wheelchair users and visually impaired people to move around cities. But we think this is fine because staying safe is more important. We’re looking at ways to adapt our services to make them useful during these times.”