Recently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) launched the latest report on the future-readiness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The report aims to help readers gain insights into organizational capabilities and orientations needed for SMEs to become future ready to sustain business growth, positively impact the environment, and build resilience and flexibility. As a regional partner, Guanghua participated in the distribution of the business questionnaire and assembled a regional pool of alternative business cases to provide a Chinese perspective for this report.
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According to the report, the main challenges cited by SME executives include talent (52.5% of respondents), survival and expansion (43.8%), funding and access to capital (35.7%), policy environment (21%) and culture and values (20%). Meanwhile, SMEs are actively adapting to the rapidly changing economic landscape and turning previous disadvantages into new opportunities. Nine case studies across multiple industries and regions highlight that SMEs can leverage their size, networks, talent and technology to support the sustainable development.
POP Mart, an alumni enterprise of Guanghua, has been selected as one of the nine cases in the report as a highly representative SME in Asia. As a trendy culture and entertainment company started by the young generation, POP Mart has developed from a small group of college friends in the beginning to a standardized enterprise with different functional departments. The management of the shops has become increasingly systematic, because of combined internal and external efforts.
According to report, POP Mart's transformational story began when it decided to change its business model from reselling acquired toys in stores in Beijing to managing intellectual property (IP) in collaboration with dozens of artists. POP Mart is also determined to focus on quality and does not franchise, thereby preserving the value of its IP. To date, POP Mart boasts a market share of 8.5% of the toy market in China, while gaining traction in other parts of Asia, the US and Europe.
In recent years, Guanghua has also made significant academic contributions to the development of SMEs. On March 13, 2020, Guanghua School of Management, in collaboration with the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce (ACFIC) and Alibaba Cloud Computing, launched a series of public welfare courses named “SME Protection Action”, aiming to support SMEs to cope with the impact and challenges during the pandemic. On February 7, 2020, Dean Liu Qiao gave a public lecture on “The Power of Guanghua Thought”. He looked at the impact of the pandemic on SMEs in the context of China's economic growth logic and pointed out the response measures for enterprises and support policies for the government.
As the micro-foundation of the economy, the development of SMEs has attracted much attention. In the future, Guanghua will continue to focus on and discover more outstanding enterprises, providing research support to help the growth of enterprises and the development of the national economy.
Future Readiness of SMEs: Mobilizing the SME Sector to Drive Widespread Sustainability and Prosperity