Future of Business survey reveals that 28% SMEs have employed more people in December alone

Small businesses employ close to 40% of India’s workforce, contribute 45% to India’s manufacturing output and nearly 8 percent of the country's GDP. Timely information about businesses provides a pulse on the current and future economic environments in which businesses operate, and gives insights on ways to help businesses grow.

In collaboration, the OECD, World Bank, and Facebook have developed the Future of Business Survey - a source of information on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs.) This online monthly survey of small businesses to understand their sentiment, activities, and challenges.

India remains positive about its outlook

• Small businesses in India maintain a positive outlook on the future in terms of business confidence and employment growth. SME’s surveyed demonstrated a positive outlook both for current state of own business (48%) and future outlook of business (62%)

• Job growth data also shows a positive trend: 28% of SME’s surveyed showed an increase in number of employees in the last month and 56% expect the number of employees to increase in the next 6 months

• Attracting customers and maintaining profitability were highlighted as top business challenges

Small businesses are capitalizing on Digital India opportunities. The more confident the business, the more likely the use of online tools.

• The most common uses of online tools were to show products/services (61%); advertise to potential new customers (60%) and communicate with customers and suppliers (55%). On average, SMEs in India use online tools for 3 out of 6 purposes listed.

Technology can help businesses grow and create jobs. And it can be an equalizer for women.

• The percentage of women in leadership and top management roles remains at 11%.

Small businesses in India are looking abroad to grow their business online.

• Almost 18% of SMBs in India engaged in international trade (data surveyed between October – December 2016) compared to 16% for February - July 2016 period

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