23 Wake Forest J. Bus. & Intell. Prop. L. 37.
Rapidly growing midsize companies are an important segment of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and are critical providers of employment, innovation, goods, and services in developed and emerging markets alike. In emerging markets, Midsize Growth Companies (MGCs) also accelerate the movement of people and economic activities from the informal to the formal sector. MGCs face many of the same sustainability challenges as larger firms but with less developed organizational capacity and constrained physical, human capital and financial resources. Hence, there is a need for guidance and tools on environmental, social, and business sustainability tailored to the unique organizational and resource characteristics and limitations of MGCs. Building on the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) long-standing work on corporate governance, SMEs, and sustainability in emerging markets, the authors have developed and are currently field-testing a draft Sustainability Assessment and Improvement Tool for Midsize Growth Companies (Tool). The Tool’s structure and content are consistent with and reinforce IFC’s evolutionary approach to SME governance and institutional development. It focuses on fit-for-purpose, practical solutions that take into consideration the resource and leadership limitations that SMEs in emerging markets typically face.