Entrepreneurs and Tecnológico de Monterrey business and public policy students discuss how Small-and-Medium-Sized Enterprises can use adaptation data.
Are small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) aware of the climatic risks they face? How are global forces such as urbanization and demographic shifts affecting business operations and supply chains? How can SMEs understand and act upon global risks data?
These were central questions explored during the Forum for Entrepreneurial Resilience: Challenges and Opportunities for SMEs, held April 30 in Monterrey, Mexico. With funding from The John Templeton Foundation, ND-GAIN and the Tecnológico de Monterrey hosted this forum to highlight the ongoing and future work they are conducting on this issue, which has included a national survey of SMEs and online guidelines on business risk.
Featured panelists (pictured above) included Luis Eduardo Pérez-Ortiz Cancino, Director of Research and Risk Management at the National Center for Prevention of Disasters; Dr. Vidal Garza, Director of the FEMSA Foundation; and Dr. Teresita Romero Torres, Director of Public Policy Research and Analysis at Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change. Dr. Norma Hernández, Director of Finance and Economics at the EGADE Business School moderated.
Dr. María de Lourdes Dieck Assad, Director General, Graduate Schools of Business and Government, ITESM - Tenológico de Monterrey and Dr. Juan José Daboub, Founding CEO, ND-GAIN, opened the day with remarks on the progress both organizations have made in bringing greater awareness to the topic of adaptation.
Providing context of the work leading up to the forum, Dr. Elvira Naranjo, lead researcher on the SME Resilience Project, showed participants results of the first national survey of SME knowledge of and engagement with adaptation issues. The survey measured SMEs’ perception of vulnerabilities — water, energy, natural disasters and other risks — as well as their “readiness” — perceptions of levels of regional investment freedom, corruption and regulatory fairness — to take action.
Dr. Bruno Sanchez Andrade Nuño (pictured above), Director of Science and Technology at ND-GAIN, overviews the Beta version of the SME Adaptation Guidelines. These guidelines are designed to help SMEs navigate their adaptation risks and opportunities. The project team is refining the guidelines based on feedback from the forum and further review with experts in the field.
Jorge Escalera, Director of Risk Mexico, also presented his ongoing work in business continuity, helping the private sector build resilience in the wake of both natural and economic disasters and challenges.
Major media outlets in Mexico are picking up on this important issue, including national newspaper Milenio’s coverage (in Spanish) of the forum.
Come back to ND-GAIN for further updates on the project and opportunities to provide your feedback.