Small Companies, Big Connections: The Benefits and Challenges for SMEs in Working With MNCs

The Conference Board of Canada, 32 pages, September 21, 2009
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This report looks at the benefits and challenges for small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) suppliers in working with multinational corporations (MNCs), and examines strategies for expanding SME-MNC value-chain connections.

Document Highlights

Linking into the value chains of multinational corporations (MNCs) can open new horizons for Canadian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and improve their abilities to expand and prosper. For MNCs, working with SMEs can bring benefits such as lower costs, enhanced innovative capacity, and increased flexibility in responding to changing conditions.

This report examines the SME perspective on the opportunities and challenges of supplying goods and services to MNCs. It also looks at what MNCs, governments, and other stakeholders—including SMEs themselves—can do to enhance the opportunities and mitigate the challenges for SMEs in working with MNCs. Its findings are based on a literature review; an online survey with over 70 SME owners and managers; three multi-stakeholder roundtables with 45 representatives from MNCs, SMEs, industry groups, research institutions, and government agencies; and 20 interviews with MNCs, SME suppliers, and other stakeholders with an interest in the success of MNC-SME value chains.

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