Project Title

SME Productivity and Performance Forum, December 2019, Wellington, New Zealand 

Project Year

2019   

Project Number

SME 07 2019A 

Project Session

Session 1   

Project Type

Standard 

Project Status

Completed Project   
View Budget TableView Budget Table
|
PrintPrint

Project No.

SME 07 2019A 

Project Title

SME Productivity and Performance Forum, December 2019, Wellington, New Zealand 

Project Status

Completed Project 

Publication (if any)

 

Fund Account

APEC Support Fund 

Sub-fund

ASF: Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) 

Project Year

2019 

Project Session

Session 1 

APEC Funding

70,000 

Co-funding Amount

5,000 

Total Project Value

75,000 

Sponsoring Forum

Small and Medium Enterprises Working Group (SMEWG) 

Topics

Small and Medium Enterprises 

Committee

SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE) 

Other Fora Involved

 

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

 

Proposing Economy(ies)

New Zealand 

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Australia; Chile; Malaysia; United States 

Expected Start Date

01/07/2019 

Expected Completion Date

31/12/2020 

Project Proponent Name 1

Patti Poole 

Job Title 1

Senior Advisor SMEs 

Organization 1

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 

Postal Address 1

15 Stout St, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140, New Zealand 

Telephone 1

(64-4) 4742917 

Fax 1

Not Applicable 

Email 1

Patti.Poole@mbie.govt.nz 

Project Proponent Name 2

Bevan Hall 

Job Title 2

Business Performance Manager 

Organization 2

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 

Postal Address 2

15 Stout St, PO Box 1473, Wellington 6140, New Zealand 

Telephone 2

(64-4) 4742917 

Fax 2

Not Applicable 

Email 2

Bevan.Hall@business.govt.nz 

Declaration

Patti Poole and Bevan Hall 

Project Summary

Lifting firm productivity is a global issue. Recent international literature has focused on improving SMEs’ performance as a means of lifting domestic productivity. The frontier of this research addresses SMEs’ low productivity and performance through increasing management capability. In addition, we know that improved management capability leads to more productive digital uptake, more R&D, more internationalisation, and better access to finance, encompassing all four SMEWG strategic priorities. There is significant interest from leading economies to share their approach in lifting SMEs’ productivity whilst learning from others. New Zealand is taking a lead in bringing together government officials and experts in the first ‘SME Productivity and Performance Forum.’ This two-day forum will take place in Wellington, New Zealand in December 2019 and will bring governments, leading-edge researchers, and experts together to share insights, research findings, and best practices. Annually, it will produce a useful ‘current state’ of SME productivity to inform policy-making and operational interventions.

Relevance

Relevance – Benefits to region: The project seeks to facilitate discussion and collaboration about government interventions to increase management capability in SMEs to improve productivity. Low productivity in SMEs is a global problem and has been under-researched to date. It will achieve this by bringing together a cohort of experts from public and private sectors who have been researching this topic independently. This project will allow research findings and policy and operational initiatives to be discussed and shared widely within APEC economies, with a view to lifting productivity within all member economies.

- New Zealand  is a good representation of the APEC SME sector in that they represent:: 97% SMEs, ~30% employment and, 28% GDP contribution.

-  In New Zealand we know SME practices, i.e. ideas and technology, are below the international frontier best practice, therefore SME productivity is low. (Achieving New Zealand’s Productivity Potential, Conway 2016) However, firms can do a lot internally to address this (Organisational skills for Productivity improvement in New Zealand SMEs: recent experience from the business heartland, Harvey, Strategia 2015).

- OECD research supports this and suggests improving management capabilities has a significant positive impact on productivity – and the largest impact of all the activities – “Better managerial skills and formal management practices appear to have strong positive effects on SME productivity, while the impact of R&D and ICT adoption appear to be of much smaller scale” (Enhancing productivity in SMEs, OECD 2017).

Our goal is to better understand each APEC economy's specific localised challenges as we collectively explore solutions and share approaches to this challenge.

The current understanding in global literature is that this challenge requires government intervention. There are different methods of implementation for achieving this and Day 2 of the Forum aims to uncover precisely this in more detail hence adding to the current body of knowledge. However, Bloom et al (2013) presents evidence that one to one interventions show significant increase in productivity.

In New Zealand we are focusing on one to many interventions. This type of approach is more cost effective for governments and growing in desirability. The United Kingdom recently approached New Zealand after conducting a global market scan. Their assessment was the New Zealand approach was leading, they requested access to our research with the goal of emulating it for their economy. New Zealand wishes to share it’s approach with the APEC economies and learn what others might be doing too.

The current state is not well understood when we look at the APEC region. The current evidence shows there is most to be gained where the simplest of best global practices are yet to be implemented. This tends to suit developing economies, and economies with less mature financial and/or labour markets, less connection with global value chains and weak domestic competition.

The evidence is yet to find an economy that will not benefit from SME management capability increases.

While we have some evidence to show this is an issue there is not an APEC specific lens at the moment, hence this project. What we want to know from this forum is:

1) Take the current evidence and apply it to the APEC lens in order to understand this challenge as it relates to the APEC economies.

2) Share current approaches to addressing this challenge and see if they are fit for purpose within APEC economies and uncover unknown activities in the APEC region in relation to this topic.

3) Document these findings thereby updating the current evidence based conversation to include an APEC narrative. Have a source of reference for economies in the APEC as they look into this challenge.

Relevance – Eligibility and Fund Priorities: This project meets the funding priority of the APEC Support Fund – Sub Fund as articulated in the ECOTECH Priority Themes in the  Manila Framework  “Developing and strengthening the dynamism of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” by  involving member and non-member economies  to obtain, share, strengthen, maintain and develop knowledge, abilities, skills and technical know-how to improve their policies to support management development in SMEs to improve productivity, internationalisation and access to finance. This will be delivered through a range of activities including presentations and interactive workshop in December 2019.. The presentations from the intended speakers will allow attendees to obtain frontier knowledge on these issues.

The workshop on Day 2 allows for economies to share their experience in engaging in this topic for the collective benefit of attendees. They expert presenters and the Day 2 workshop will cover specific skills and technical know-how for economies currently working on or looking to engage in policies in this area. The documentation and thereafter the publication of these findings and shared insights will ensure resources are available for strengthening knowledge on an ongoing basis. Furthermore, the website will provide continuity for the community, enabling references, updates and networking, until the next Forum on this topic. This area of work is new and fragmented in a global context. In an APEC context it is yet to start. There will be a number of benefits from the Forum in 2019. It should not be overlooked that this Forum will begin scoping the challenges in an APEC specific context. We hope this community will find better solutions as we better understand the challenges. Therefore, we intend for the Forum to run annually. As more global evidence is produced in this area and as more APEC economies apply evidence based approaches in their local settings, the benefit to, and collective knowledge of, the APEC economies will grow each year. It is our aim that lessons learned will continue to be shared each year as the APEC economy becomes more sophisticated in this area of SME support.

Relevance – Capacity Building: Our project will help APEC member economies to link with global experts leading to possible development of tools and programmes to develop SME management capabilities in the areas of productivity, internationalisation and access to finance. The project is taking a long-term approach with the inaugural meeting taking place in 2019. Members will be able to replicate or adapt the findings and best practice as demonstrated in the forum, enabling real impact on the ability of SMEs to participate more fully in the regional economy. This particular event isn't going to be a one-off event. There is more value on the table here and it can't be realised in a single occurrence of a 2-day Forum. We must first understand the challenge better as it relates to APEC economies, then start to build a body of knowledge and evidence base that is suitable for APEC economies. The capacity in APEC economies will build year-on-year with multiple occurrence of this Forum.

Objectives

Our objectives are to increase the collective understanding of theoretical and operational practices in building SME capability and productivity. Furthermore we wish to focus future global energy in research and experimentation  in this area to include APEC, avoid duplication of research and build upon a collective body of knowledge in a more efficient way. The forum will curate up-to-date global standard of research, insights and experiences for international consumption; and insights from research, tools or products will help governments to tailor support for small business owners.

Alignment

Alignment - APEC:  A key feature of APEC's work involves building strong linkages across economies and various sectors to promote collective action or collaboration in addressing the challenges that face an economy.  The APEC Iloilo Initiative: Growing Global MSMEs for Inclusive Development identified a number of activities to support the aim of providing a bigger voice and better opportunities for MSMEs including: “Building a network of MSMEs, incubators, accelerators, and innovation centres in APEC to promote information exchanges, business networking, and capacity building.”     

Our project brings together global experts, eg speakers and some attendees, on management capability development for SMEs with the express purpose of increasing productivity, internationalisation, access to finance etc and to develop practical tools and programmes to directly assist SMEs.  This will be of particular relevance to developing economies.

Alignment – Forum: The SMEWG strategic plan 2017-2020 takes into account the Iloilo Initiative, the Boracay Action Plan to Globalise MSMEs and the Digital Economy Action Plan and focuses on four priority areas:

1) Entrepreneurship, innovation and the internet and the digital economy. Our project will help SMEs to build capabilities to take advantage of and compete effectively in the internet and the digital economy. Participants will have a set of strategic tools and mechanisms which can be used successfully by economies for making the operations of small businesses easier and more productive.

2) Financing for business expansion and capability development. Our forum supporting SME management capability development is key to increasing both firm and domestic productivity. It’s also a vital step to enabling SMEs to realise gains from, and engage in, internationalisation, digital uptake and access to finance.

3) Inclusive business ecosystems that support SME growth. Our forum enhances public-private sector collaboration that will support SME development by bringing together global experts whose insights from research, tools and products will help governments to tailor resources for SMEs.

4) Market access for SMEs: Management capability research, tools and products will strengthen SMEs export capabilities and capacity for internationalisation.

TILF/ASF Justification

Not Applicable.

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Outputs: Establishment of the community: This forum will bring together economies, institutions and individual researchers to a community that will continue to investigate these issues in the future. The current state is fragmented work, ideas and efforts. The two -day forum will serve as the foundation of the community and set a platform for continued collaboration throughout the year.

1)   Webpage: New Zealand will host a web page with the information from the inaugural forum and the subsequent annual forums thereafter. It will include the agenda for forum days, the purpose of the forum with the themes it's going to revolve around, and an index of the economies and researchers in attendance. The target audience of this web page will be attendees from all APEC economies as it will clear the expectations that they might have from the event. It will also help them decide on the relevancy for specific set of attendees. At a later stage, this web page will also host the published annual best practice report which will be freely available for download. This web page will be hosted on business.govt.nz - New Zealand’s central government initiative to improve performance of SMEs by means of improving management capability. The web page will be managed by business.govt.nz’s internal team whose primary responsibility will be to make sure the information on the web page is well updated and none of APEC economies face issues while trying to access it.

2) Interactive workshop involved, presentations, and the Digital Showcase: The purpose of this activity is to share new ideas or ideas that have already been tried to improve productivity and to identify if there is a scope of improvement. The forum will run across two days (December 3rd and  4th, 2019). Day 1 will involve keynote presentations on relevant research with an emphasis on interaction with presenters should attendees see value in participating. Day 2 will involve an interactive workshop focused on eliciting evidence and experiences from attending economies and researchers. The purpose of interactive workshop is to encourage the learning from each other, where interested APEC economies can share their input to improvise on an already existing idea or form a new idea based on existing research which they might have picked up from Day 1. Following are the themes

a)  Theme 1 working session: Is growth the goal? Through consultation with Chief Economist, Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment NZ, Donna Purdue and UK based independent economist, Kate Raworth we will explore measurements outside of productivity and business performance metrics. Questions such as: Can people’s needs are met without disturbing Earth’s ecological balance? Should wellbeing of business owners be considered? Is it possible to measure wellbeing?

b)  Theme 2 working session: Wins and losses of increasing management capability and productivity. This will allow for participating economies and researchers to share insights from their research, interventions and policy settings. This will be structured allowing for valuable first hand interaction between economies.

c)  Theme 3 working session: Measurement and evaluation of business advice programmes. We have found strong demand from those interested in this forum, to better understand best practice when it comes to measurement and evaluation of interventions in this space.

We intend for this forum to be a suitable environment for developing economies interested in increasing SME management capability and productivity and understanding the wider benefits. If APEC has such arrangements with developing economies this forum, and the associated outputs, will provide an ideal setting for APEC to specifically invite such economies to attend, observe and interact.

Digital Showcase (organised and funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment): How digital practices and government delivery are bettering business and citizens:

d)  According to the Global Innovation Index, New Zealand is 7th in Asia and Oceania for innovation. The forum provides an opportunity to showcase New Zealand’s digital government initiatives in order to facilities a conversation with APEC and non-APEC attending economies. 

e)  The showcase is jointly led by New Zealand agencies Better for Business – a collective of 10 agencies committed to making significant improvements to the business experience with government – and the Office of the GCDO (Government Chief Digital Officer), which leads government digital change.

f)   The December Showcase (part of the forum) will be the 4th biannual showcase of it’s kind and is building on the success of the April Showcase, which hosted over 1000 visitors and over 35 exhibitors. The Showcase is scheduled to happen on Day 1 of the forum - December 3rd, 2019 at the same venue as the keynote presentations after the presentations are finished.

Following is a rough 2-day agenda that we have planned so far:

Day 1 (December 3rd, 2019)

Registration

8:00 - 9:00

Welcome note from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and Small Business Minister (TBC)

9:00 - 9:45

Presentations on theme 1 : Is growth the right goal?

9:45 - 12:00

Lunch

12:00 - 13:00

Presentations on theme 3 : Measurement and Evaluation of business advice programs

13:00 - 15:00

Digital Showcase

15:00 - 17:00

Day 2 (December 4th, 2019)

Morning tea

8:30 - 9:00

Interactive workshop on theme 2 : Wins and losses of increasing management capability and productivity

9:00 - 12:00

Lunch

12:00 - 13:00

Interactive workshop continues on theme 2: Wins and losses of increasing management capability and productivity

13:00 - 15:00

Afternoon tea

15:00 - 15:30

Conclusion of interactive workshop

15:30 - 16:00

3)   Annual Best Practice report: We are planning to create ‘Annual Best Practice Report’ - 30 pages by estimate - for our audience. The report will majorly target researchers, policy makers and economists of APEC economies. This report will be created by ‘Write Ltd’ - an organisation known for its experts in writing in plain language. They have collaborated with New Zealand government on a lot of projects and have produced satisfactory results. This report will be funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand. We are happy for APEC to hold the copyrights of the report exclusively.

The annual best practice report will be created as per the inputs provided by APEC economies and will include each economy’s current intervention and/or policy efforts that aim to increase management capability within their SME sector. It will include the summarized findings from attending researchers and literature referenced during the forum. It will also include best practices on measurement and evaluation of policies and interventions including econometrics such as GDP, labour and finance inputs and internationalisation and externalities for example, increased women lead SMEs, increased digital efficiency and sustainability. The annual best practice report could even include questions posed by economies and recommendations proposed by one economy to another economy as we understand that we can’t expect all the economies to respond in a specific way. We plan to gain input from 60% economies in the room to satisfy the purpose of the output.

The report will also seek a call for evidence to gather insights from those unable to attend. We will share the report generated from the event with the non-attending APEC economies for their inputs, questions or comments upon receipt of which the annual best practice report will be updated and sent to all APEC economies. This report, after the event in December 2019, is going to be the first of its kind and will serve as the knowledge foundation for the following year’s forum. Additionally, this report would enable APEC economies to be a part of the conversation about best practices used or developed worldwide. It will also provide a good opportunity to experts in APEC economies to address the productivity challenge.

There hasn’t been any reports like these in the past aimed at improving SME productivity on a multi-economy level, however, specific economies have created reports applicable to their own economies, for example, UK’s Business Productivity Review - Government call for evidence. The development of our report will start with this literature review. We will go through the working session using this literature review as a guide. We will open up to attendees to comment with reference to their own experience, insights and research. A conversation might follow to understand the mentioned economies perspective. This will be noted in the minutes. The mines will form the basis for the best practice report. The relevant section of the minutes will be circulated to the respective economies after the forum with any further questions around their contribution (eg evidence confirmation) and to allow final editing from the economy. Additionally, we will be circulating a literature summary prior to the forum (either a collection of relevant material or a literature review document prepared by MBIE NZ). We will request the attendees to consider their economy’s work programmes in relation to the topics mentioned in the literature and set expectations about the inputs required from a particular economy. For more details on this particular output, please refer to Appendix A.

a) Participant’s survey: At the end of Day 2 (interactive workshop), we will send out a survey to all the participants to record the data about if the forum was able to meet attendee’s expectations, whether it met all the objectives that it was promised to meet, and whether the information shared in the forum has helped economies to develop policies to help SMEs to improve productivity.

Outcomes:

1) Establishment of community

a) Attendance and interaction between economies, in regards to the SME management capabilities and productivity will initiate a new movement in understanding and cooperation.

b) The professional relationships forged at the forum will allow for increased international communication throughout the year.

c)  The forum will provide them an opportunity every year to collaborate and find solutions to problems that affect small business productivity.

2)  Annual best practice report

a)  With the establishment of agreed global best practices economies with immature interventions will be able to self-advance their understanding quicker and, if appropriate, adjust their interventions.

b) This report will be updated each year at the subsequent forums. Therefore, the best practice report will serve as a platform for the following year’s forum.

3) Webpage

a)  The webpage will allow free access to the summarized findings of the forum and serve as a point of reference for those unable to attend.

b)  The webpage will also keep the interested economies updated about the themes of the forum every year.

c) The webpage will help to facilitate international communication by indexing the attending economies and researchers along with those referenced in the Annual best practice report.

d) The webpage will allow for feedback on the Annual best practice report and the forum from attendees and non-attendees throughout the year.

4) Interactive Workshop and presentations

a) The presentations and the workshop will provide a platform for all the attendees to learn from each other’s work and contribute ideas to make it even more effective.

b) The presentations and the workshop will help attendees to update themselves with global standard of research on best business practices to improve productivity. This updated research can further help policy makers to create policies to support the small business community.

c)  It will also allow for the formation of the annual best practice report.

d) The Digital Showcase on the first day of the forum is an opportunity for attendees to learn, be inspired by, interact with and share the new and creative ways government agencies are working together to make access to Government services easier, more consistent and more coordinated.

e) Attendees will talk firsthand with the developers of these initiatives allowing an opportunity for specific deep dives into their chosen area.

f) Ideas from the Digital showcase will prime the following workshop to focus on digital solutions and conversations.

5) Additional outcomes

a) The forum will act as a milestone of updated insights and best practices every year which will be accessible to all APEC economies to refer to whenever they need it.

b) Insights are gathered from experts on building SME capability and productivity.

c)  A coordinated approach to research and development of practical tools to increase productivity is established.

d) Business assistance policy across APEC community is informed and enhanced by research.

Beneficiaries: The project’s outputs will have many beneficiaries, both forum attendees and non-attendees, including:

1) Developing economies – very critical to the successful functioning of the forum. We’ve provisioned for air fare and per diem for 20 delegations from 11 APEC economies.. Small improvements in productivity can have enormous impacts on micro businesses and developing economies, and will support poverty reduction in these economies.

2) APEC industry association attendees and the small and medium enterprises that they represent in all APEC member economies. Industry associations are constantly seeking new ways of supporting their members to become more productive.

3) APEC governments through an expanded effort to solve the productivity paradox that they are grappling with.

4) Academia from expanded engagement with each other to share research and insights on the topics being discussed. We have confirmed speakers from the United States of America, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Singapore and awaiting confirmation from Canada.

Following are the details of the confirmed speakers.

1)     Name: Victor Bennett
Economy represented: USA
Gender: Male
Qualification: Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley

In 2016-2017, Victor was White House Council of Economic Advisers Senior Economist for Competition and Technology Policy. Prior to being an Associate Professor of Strategy at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Victor was a technical specialist at Google, where he obtained patents for innovations in areas from fighting fraud to music classification. Victor’s current research topic is automation and artificial intelligence and their implications on competitiveness, productivity and workers.

2)  Name: Donna Purdue
Economy represented: New Zealand
Gender: Female
Qualification: First class honours in economics from University of Waikato

Donna is the Chief Economist at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, New Zealand. She has worked with the British High Commission, the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, Westpac Bank, and was the Chief Economist at Kiwibank.

3)  Name: Melissa Carson
Economy represented: UK
Gender: Female
Qualification: PhD

Detail: A PhD from the University of Oxford and undergraduate from the University of Toronto, Melissa was well set up for earlier roles as Deputy Dean, Executive Education at London Business School and Senior Editor, Writer and Researcher with The Economist. Melissa is now The Director of Research and Insights at Be The Business, UK. Their research work covers three core strands:

- Bespoke research agenda to contribute new insight to the productivity debate;

- Knowledge function on adoption and management practices that drive firm-level productivity; and

- Learning and evaluation across all Be the Business interventions to drive value for firms.

4)  Name: David McKenzie
Economy represented: USA
Gender: Male
Qualification: B.Com.(Hons)/BA from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and PhD. in Economics from Yale University, United States

Detail: David McKenzie is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group, Finance and Private Sector Development Unit at the World Bank. Prior to joining the World Bank, he spent four years as an assistant professor of Economics at Stanford University. His main research is on migration, enterprise development, and methodology for use with developing country data. He has published more than 100 articles in journals such as the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Science, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of the European Economic Association, Economic Journal, American Economic Journal: Applied Micro, Journal of Econometrics, and all leading development journals. He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Development Economics, the World Bank Economic Review, and Migration Studies. He is also a co-founder and regular contributor to the Development Impact blog.

5)  Name: Philip McCann
Economy represented: UK
Gender: Male
Qualification: Chair of Urban and Regional Economics

Detail: Professor Philip McCann is professor of Urban and Regional Economics at the University of Sheffield Management School. He's one of the world's most highly cited and widely published economists. He has won awards for his research in various economies. In the past, he has given over 200 keynote lectures and invited talks at conferences and seminars across 31 economies and 5 continents, including at: the European Parliament, the OECD Paris, The United Nations Geneva; the FAO United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Rome; the European Commission; the Australian Parliament; the Reserve Bank of New Zealand; the New Zealand Treasury; The Federal Reserve of New York; the Trento Festival of Economics; the UK Houses of Parliament; HM Treasury UK; the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy; the UK Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Chatham House and the British Academy.

Dissemination

We will be circulating the annual report generated at the end of the forum with all the delegations of attending economies and participants. This report will be an electronic publication of best practices and research on the topic of increasing management capability within the SME sector with the inputs taken from the 2 day event (presentations and workshop). The forum being an APEC sponsored event, we are happy for APEC to hold the copyrights of the report and publish on APEC’s publications database. We also have plans to make the report accessible on a web page on the proposed website - business.govt.nz. The annual best practice report  will be free to download. This web page will be self-funded and managed by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. The internal team will have objectives pre and post implementation of the project.

The target audiences for these results are small business productivity researchers, economists, operational actors and policy makers of economies around the world. We don’t intend to sell any outputs arising from this project.

Gender

Gender balance in implementing projects can facilitate in-depth discussions and innovative thinking. We will proactively seek balanced representation by men and women in the project’s agenda, from identifying female experts, to targeting forum attendees. Women will be prioritized to be invited as speakers to the forum. We are confident there will be robust participation by both genders in the event. We are aiming at having 40% - 50% women speakers at our event along with 50% women participants. To ensure women participation, we are planning to recommend attending economies to bring at least one woman from each economy to the event. Given that 72.9% of APEC's women-owned SMEs are "very small" and only 2.9% are "medium," - their businesses have fewer resources for growth and innovation, women have limited access to networks, such as business associations which leads on to missing out on important resources to create opportunities for growth and advancement, share information and advice, and deliver training or coaching. This issue resonates with New Zealand economy too. Further, we have found that SMEs with less than 6 employees are the majority who face these stated issues. The current literature doesn’t go this deep. Hence, we will encourage a discussion on this topic in our interactive workshop on day 2. Moreover, as SME definition differs among economies, we expect this topic to be called out on day 2. As far as training and coaching is concerned, we need to identify why women are missing out on it. We believe the forum will cover different methods to achieve success in a women-led SME by getting a speaker expert on this topic.

Women play a particularly important role in the success of APEC SMEs. They will benefit from the project’s efforts to increase our knowledge about productivity and management capability. It is also important to note that women are vital contributors to the project team as well as the extensive network of champions supporting this effort.

The PO will ensure that the evaluation forms to be distributed at the end of the Forum will include information on gender for disaggregating data for project assessment. PO is committed to collect sex-disaggregated data for all speakers and participants (and not only the APEC funded) from the project event. This data will be included as part of the submission of the Completion Report to the Secretariat when the project completes and will serve to guide future POs on their own gender parity targets.

Work Plan

Time (Year 1)

Tasks

Deliverables

March 2019 – August 2019

Engage with experts and economies of interest for attending the forum.

Finalised list of speakers for the event

May 2019 – October 2019

●  Set final agenda and confirm speakers

●  Event planning and logistics

●  Coordinate with other economic conference being held in Wellington

●  Establish breakout networking opportunities

●  Create web page

Confirmed logistics for the forum and other similar events taking place in Wellington

October 2019

Submit Monitoring Report to APEC

October 2019 – December 2019

●  Promote public presentation sessions

●  Distribute agenda to attendees

Confirmed agenda of the event sent to speakers

3rd – 4th December 2019

●  Run the forum

●  Develop ‘current state’ of research, policies and operational practices

Insights document to create annual best business practice report.

5th and 6th December 2019

(The conferences mentioned below are optional events taking place in Wellington in the same week and are not a part of SME Performance and Productivity Forum. APEC is not being asked to sponsor this part.) 

●  Attend Government Economic Network (GEN) conference

●  Attend Transport Economic Forum

4th December 2019 - 20th December 2019

Create a draft of the report

Document including best practices inputs from attending and non-attending economies

20th December 2019 - 20th January 2020

Submission to APEC Secretariat for review

20th January 2020 - 5th February 2020

Incorporate Secretariat’s feedback to the report

5th February 2020 - 12th February 2020

Endorsement of the Forum

12th February 2020 - 20th February 2020

Final submission

4th December 2019 - 4th March 2020

Measurement and feedback on objectives

Online feedback form to be sent to the attendees

4th March 2020 - 4th May 2020

Submit Completion Report to APEC

September 2020 - December 2020

Participation in Long Term Evaluation of APEC projects conducted by Secretariat

Risks

The risks involved in the project are as follows:

1)  Productivity in small businesses is a vast area. The risk involved with this is that attendees might have different expectations of output from the project. For example, they were keen to hear on a particular topic but no one spoke on that. To mitigate this risk, we are working on creating an online questionnaire which will be sent to the attendees asking about their expectations from the Forum and their preferred topic. Once we have the input we will talk to our speakers to check how we can include those insights into the speaking plan.

2)  Last minute flight delay or cancellation can lead to speaker’s absence. We have plans to look for options and start bookings for travel from May onwards. We will be ready with the second flight option if cancellation of the first flight occurs.

3)  Availability of speaking venue. We have already booked multiple rooms that can accommodate at least 50 attendees.

4)  Less than satisfactory quality of report. In order to mitigate this risk, we will make sure that the insights, findings and research mentioned in the Forum are well referenced. We will also make sure that any research mentioned during the event was performed with good sample. We will be recording minutes across 2 days of the event which will enable us to ask for evidence for a specific research if there’s a doubt about the quality.

5) Less engagement from funded-travel participants. We took the opportunity to attend and network at SMEWG meeting in China early this year where we presented the idea of the Forum. We found economies were interested in the concept. We are also networking with USA and Australia after China to gather their thoughts about the subject of the forum. We will continue to do so in Chile in September to make sure that we have participants who are interested in the subject.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Presentations and Interactive workshop: The key indicators that we will use to measure this output are:

a)  Participation of attending economies – we will record how engaged attending economies are in sharing the research, insights and recommendations to build the updated global best business practices report. We will target to gather input from 60% economies to satisfy the purpose of the report generated. The best case scenario would be to get at least 1 input on best practices from all APEC economies. This input could be a question posed, research insight, recommendations made etc.

b)  Speakers engaged – we will record the number of speakers keen to speak on the forum. We are aiming at having 5 experts on board for the forum including 2 - 3 women speakers.

c)   Gender – we will target to achieve at least 50% female participation by recommending attending economies to bring at least 1 woman per economy. We will also target to have 40% - 50% speakers as women.

d)  Number of best practices developed - This isn't quantifiable at this stage. We first need to know how relevant the current professional literature and research is at articulating the problem as it relates to APEC economies respectively. The Forum will do this. Then we can start looking at which of the current solutions in the professional literate and in practice from other APEC economies might be relevant. We don't know what practices are in existence in APEC economies or how relevant the current documented practices are for APEC economies. The answers to this will shape up until we get decisions going on Day 2 of the Forum. However, if a number is really required, I reckon we would aim to develop 10 - 20 best practices from the inputs - findings, research and insights - from researchers, economists and APEC economies.

Annual business practice report: Key indicator we will use to measure this output:

a)   Number of downloads – we will record how many times the report has been downloaded electronically from the website. This will give a good idea about the expectations covered at the forum.

Web page: Key indicator we will use to measure this output

a)   Number of footprints – we will measure how many people are visiting the website, expressing the interest and downloading the resources available from the forum.

All speakers and participants will be requested to provide feedback in the form of a survey at the end of the workshop on Day 2 on the efficiency and outcomes of the forum, whether the objectives are met, whether the information sharing is able to bring about changes after its completion and how.

Non-attending economies would be sent an online link to the survey along with the best business practices report to rate on the outcomes of the forum. The proposed web page of the forum would also have the functionality to send feedback to us at any time.

The participants would also be requested to fill out an interest form beforehand so that the event can be lined up with the expectations of the attendees.

The following information will be collected to measure/assess progress and impact:

•   whether the event met its set objectives: One of the key information on the proposed web page of the Forum would be Forum’s objectives. This web page would be sent to all APEC economies to communicate on the objective. At the end of Day 2, we will send a questionnaire to find out if the objectives are met. The questionnaire would have questions like - did you find the practices recommended or discussed in the workshop effective for your economy? did you find about a specific set of research carried out by another economy that could help your economy too?

•   whether the event attracted right participants and whether there were both representatives from the public and private sectors:  We will measure if the event attracted right participants based on the inputs provided by the attending economies.

•   the quality of speakers; this can be assessed by compiling comments of participants in the evaluation forms.

•  gender issues: How many female participants attended.

Linkages

We are exploring deeper conversations with OECD and the World Bank, the London School of Economics, The New Zealand Productivity Commission, Auckland University, NZ and Otago University, NZ.  We intend to continue discussions with other European economies, in the first instance, to learn more about their efforts in these areas and discuss attendance.

●  We will secure attendees who are experts in understanding environments for Women-led MSMEs and are able to challenge researches and policy makers eg ensuring research data isn’t biased to a male ownership view, and that policies consider unique factors for women-led environments.

●  In the USA we are in the process of confirming to attend as keynote speakers. Specifically, researchers from Duke University Fuqua School of Business (North Carolina), NYU Stern School of Business (New York), and we are in conversations with experts from Stanford University, California.

●  We are in discussion with the Director at the Productivity Insights Network, UK, and Be the Business, a UK based private-public operational group to invite speakers.

The PO attended China’s SMEWG meeting early this year where we presented the idea of the forum. From the interest and inputs from other APEC economies, it was evident that there would be no duplication of previous or ongoing APEC initiatives. Moreover, we have spoken to OECD SME working group officials about the concept and found no duplication there. We have also done a market scan, as a part of our desktop research, and literature review and were unable to find progress in this particular area - relating SME productivity challenge and management capability solution with the APEC specific lens.

Sustainability

The economies we’ve spoken to have expressed a keen interest in this topic and a desire for an annual meeting and sustained community in relation to this topic. This is a growing area of interest and it is expected that this topic areas will continue to gain traction and prominence.

We would like to reinforce the vision that this forum in December 2019 is an inaugural forum, planned to recur annually thereafter. Every year we will decide on new themes based upon the current issues on productivity. This forum will also be a platform to discuss the impact of insights gained from the previous year’s forum so that we can measure the value of the forum every year. We have plans to address all major issues related to small business productivity in next 5 years.

New Zealand is committed to engaging with the APEC economies in the lead up to APEC 2021 and therefore committed to see the ongoing sustainability of this forum. Therefore, New Zealand along with other founding economies will take a leading role in driving and ensuring that this forum continues to progress.

Beneficiaries can reach out to the POs anytime to discuss further on an insight presented in the Forum. POs can then help to establish a connection between beneficiaries.

After project completion, attendees can apply their insights in building even better and relevant products, tools or resources for small businesses. New Zealand government will capture the best practice insights to build free material which can help small businesses improve productivity.

We are expecting this forum to recur annually. We are planning to measure the progress on the outcomes by creating a metrics on how the insights helped attendees to create or ideate new tools, products and resources and showcase those in the forum to take in the next year.

Project Overseers

Bevan Hall: Bevan Hall is the Business Performance Manager, Business.govt.nz at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment. Bevan and his team research, design, deploy and measure interventions in the areas of management capability in the SME sector 

Contact details: email Bevan.Hall@business.govt.nz, telephone +64 21 542 468


Patti Poole: Patti Poole is a senior advisor specialising in SMEs in the Enterprise Policy team at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. She has a background in business ownership, lecturing in small business and advising small business owners.

Contact details: email  Patti.Poole@mbie.govt.nz, telephone +64 4 4742917

Cost Efficiency

Not Applicable.

Drawdown Timetable

Not Applicable.

Direct Labour

Not Applicable.

Waivers

Not Applicable.

Are there any supporting document attached?

No 
Attachments
Version: 3.0 
Created at 23/07/2019 11:52  by Lucy Phua 
Last modified at 12/11/2020 11:36  by Lucy Phua 
Version HistoryVersion History

Project No.

Project Title

Project Status

Publication (if any)

Fund Account

Sub-fund

Project Year

Project Session

APEC Funding

Co-funding Amount

Total Project Value

Sponsoring Forum

Topics

Committee

Other Fora Involved

Other Non-APEC Stakeholders Involved

Proposing Economy(ies)

Co-Sponsoring Economies

Expected Start Date

Expected Completion Date

Project Proponent Name 1

Job Title 1

Organization 1

Postal Address 1

Telephone 1

Fax 1

Email 1

Project Proponent Name 2

Job Title 2

Organization 2

Postal Address 2

Telephone 2

Fax 2

Email 2

Declaration

Project Summary

Relevance

Objectives

Alignment

TILF/ASF Justification

Beneficiaries and Outputs

Dissemination

Gender

Work Plan

Risks

Monitoring and Evaluation

Linkages

Sustainability

Project Overseers

Cost Efficiency

Drawdown Timetable

Direct Labour

Waivers

Are there any supporting document attached?

hdFldAdmin

Project Number

Previous Fora

Secretariat Comments

Reprogramming Notes

Consolidated QAF

Endorsement By Fora

PD Sign Off

Batch

Forum Priority

Committee Ranking Category

Committee Priority

PDM Priority

Priority Within Funding Category

Monitoring Report Received

Completion Report Received

PMU Field 1

PMU Field 2

PMU Field 3

On Behalf Of

Proposal Status

Originating Sub-Forum

Approval Status
Attachments
Content Type: Standard Proposal
Version:
Created at by
Last modified at by
Go Search