Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

This goal has a range of targeted outcomes, including increasing incomes for low income earning groups, ending discrimination, promoting social, economic and political inclusion, promoting better wage and social protection policies, facilitating safe migration and reducing remittance fees, monitoring regulation of global financial markets, and increasing the participation of the LDCs in the international system.

MSMEs are often located in isolated geographic locations with lower level of populations and limited markets that do not have enough scale to attract larger firms. Research has shown that smaller businesses tend to spend more of the money they make from a local area within that area, demonstrating their potential to regenerate economically disadvantaged places. MSMEs tend to be labour-intensive, and employ many segments of the population including young people, women, low-skilled workers and the disabled.

Social enterprises can help bridge inequalities, and many social enterprises are MSMEs. They bring innovative solutions to the problems of poverty and fill gaps in service delivery. In many countries, social enterprises are an increasing phenomenon. Companies pursuing social impact as a part of their core business strategies are seeing increased access to financing in a diversity of forms: philanthropic grants and impact investments, partial credit guarantees, and payment for performance. An example is provided in box 4.

Box 4. MSMEs accelerating inclusivity in Singapore: Dignity Kitchen

Dignity kitchen is a social enterprise that runs Singapore's first and only community food court. It is operated by people with disabilities and the socially disadvantaged. The business provides educational and employment opportunities in the food services industry to vulnerable people of all walks of life, including those with physical, intellectual and mental disabilities, ex-offenders, at-risk youth, victims of domestic violence, cancer and stroke survivors. Dignity Kitchen offers bespoke cashier training to the hearing- and visually-impaired – the cashier machines have Braille markings and stickers attached to them and provides height-adjustable countertops to create a more enabling work environment for wheelchair- bound ‘hawkerpreneurs’.

Source: Project Dignity Singapore

Policy measures to support Goal 10:

  • Male and female employees of the same competency should receive the same remuneration. Employees should not be preferentially treated based on discriminatory grounds such as gender, race, or religion.
  • States should include the employees of MSMEs in their social protection systems, including access to paid leave, social security contributions, and payment of life, accident and unemployment insurance.