Growing the resilience of SMEs

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up 97% of businesses in New Zealand, employ over 600,000 people, and generate 28% of our GDP. By growing their resilience to disruptive change, we can create a more resilient economy. But getting SMEs to give resilience priority remains a challenge.

Over the last 8 months, we have delivered a series of 3-hour resilience workshops for SMEs around the South Island, funded through QuakeCore, AF8, and NEMA.

The AF8 scenario was presented at the beginning of the workshops, along with other examples of disruption to demonstrate the diversity of events and the value of disaster preparedness. The workshop continued with an overview of organisational resilience, emphasising the need to think ahead and be prepared. Participants were guided through a SME business continuity template.

Feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with 98% saying they would recommend the workshops to others.

The biggest challenge with the workshops was low attendance, demonstrating the challenge of getting SMEs to step away from their day-to-day operations and engage with resilience and business continuity planning. COVID-19 appears to have exacerbated this, with many SMEs struggling or just getting by, creating an added vulnerability for when the next disruptive event hits.

Getting active engagement, kanohi ki te kanohi, remains both the key, and the challenge, to building the resilience of SMEs.
For more information contact Richard Ball, or ph. 027 208 3532.
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