UNDP and SEMAS solidify partnership to support digital transformation of MSMEs in developing countries

November 9, 2023

Anne Juepner (left), Director of UNDP Seoul Policy Centre, and Won-Sang Cha (right), Digital Innovation Business Unit General Manager of Small Enterprise and Market Service (SEMAS)

UNDP Seoul Policy Centre

9 November 2023, Seoul - UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) and the Small Enterprise and Market Service (SEMAS), a quasi-governmental agency affiliated with the Ministry of SMEs and Startups of the Republic of Korea, signed a partnership agreement today to support the digital transformation of micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs), including youth- and women-led enterprises, in developing countries.

USPC has collaborated closely with SEMAS since 2022 to share Korean policies and practices that can serve as useful references for countries striving to accelerate inclusive digital transformation in support of MSMEs. Currently, USPC and SEMAS collaborate on supporting Peru to innovate the country’s traditional markets, where women-led businesses account for more than 70% of the sector. This collaboration involves learning exchanges with Peruvian partners including the Ministry of Production of Peru and municipalities.

Through this partnership the two organizations aim to support countries to explore, adapt, and pilot Korean tools designed to promote inclusive growth via digital transformation of MSMEs, as appropriate to their national contexts.

"Digital technologies can accelerate the Sustainable Development Goals by creating new opportunities. At the same time, they also pose the risk of deepening inequalities and the digital divide. We hope that our partnership with SEMAS will contribute to an inclusive digital transformation that leaves no one behind,” said Anne Juepner, Director of USPC.

UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change in 170 countries. Established in 2011, UNDP Seoul Policy Centre represents UNDP in the Republic of Korea and shares Korea’s development solutions and technical expertise with other countries to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The Centre also works on private sector engagement and development to help build the capacities of the private sector including MSMEs, youth- and women-led businesses to deploy their core competencies to address development challenges.