USPC launches knowledge exchange partnership with Peru to support inclusive digital transformation of MSMEs

April 27, 2023
Photo: Nuria Angeles/UNDP Peru/Innova tu Mercado

Micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) comprise a major share of total private sector entities in both developed and developing countries, and in developing countries such as Peru, 98 percent of private enterprises are MSMEs. However, evidence shows that MSMEs are lagging behind in adopting digital technologies that can increase their participation in e-commerce and access to digital finance.

Inclusive digital transformation involves ensuring equitable access to digital solutions and equipping MSMEs with relevant skills to adapt to emerging technologies. The launch of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC)’s pilot SDG Partnership programme on ‘Supporting MSMEs through Inclusive Digital Transformation’ last November was part of this effort. Peru was selected as the pilot partner country for the period 2023-2024 to collaborate on traditional market innovations through digital transformation, with the experience and practices of the Republic of Korea’s Small Enterprise and Market Services (SEMAS) as reference.

An inception meeting was organized to introduce key partners and stakeholders from the Republic of Korea and Peru to discuss the SDG Partnership programme goals and implementation plans, as well as to identify the matching Korean expertise, solutions and tools that can be optimally shared for adaptation in the Peruvian context. The event was joined by SEMAS and the Ministry of Production of Peru as well as UNDP teams from UNDP Peru, UNDP Seoul Policy Centre and UNDP Chief Digital Office.



An overview of UNDP Peru’s programme objectives and work plan were introduced by Ms. Ximena González, Entrepreneurship and Innovation Specialist. An analysis of ‘Innova Tu Mercado’ (Innovate Your Market), a joint initiative led by UNDP Peru and the Ministry of Production to accelerate digital transformation of Peru’s traditional markets and promote their economic and social development, was provided with a focus on proposed activities and expectations on how the SDG Partnership could support this initiative.

Mr. Won-Sang Cha, Digital Innovation Business Unit General Manager of SEMAS, provided a comprehensive overview of ROK’s policies and programmes, and digital tools and technologies that are utilized and implemented to support MSMEs and entrepreneurs in traditional markets through digital transformation. Gaps in digital capabilities and access to digital tools stood out as key points to consider in devising a strategic approach to adapt ROK’s tools and practices to the Peruvian context.

Ms. Carla Zapata, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Peru, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership and its potential to support the people of Peru, particularly the most vulnerable such as women-led businesses. Ms. Anne Juepner, Director of USPC, highlighted the joint commitment “to collectively pave the way for a successful triangular partnership among Peru, Korea and UNDP going forward”.