Small and medium enterprises are among the most significant contributors to the growth of employment levels, as well as of innovation and productivity in most countries nowadays. (Newberry, 1) This could be further seen from a particular statement in a study which states, “The presence of SMEs also correlates with several economic factors, including the growth of a nation’s gross domestic product (GDP).” (Newberry, 1) However, even though this principle is being widely recognized, there still is the presence of factors which cause a phenomenon called the “SME Finance Gap” wherein small and medium-sized businesses are experiencing difficulty in obtaining funds for their growth.(OECD-APEC Keynote Paper, 2)
As stated in a certain research report, “Financial problems (lack of funds) constrain the development and growth of SME’s because many SME’s are unable to access the same kinds of growth funding available to large businesses.” (Watson, 5) This gap is due to a lot of factors, one of which is the SME’s hesitation to obtain bank fundings due to the presence of risks, and also the probability of losing control over their respective businesses. (Watson, 15) Moreover, there is the presence of diverse barriers, which basically require more active roles of the governments and concomitantly, of more effective programs. The keynote paper of OECD and APEC further states, “Governments can do more than they do presently to prepare companies for the challenges posed by the national and global business environment.”(OECD-APEC Keynote Paper, 4) Indeed, given the information stated above, the SME-Finance Gap is a multi-faceted phenomenon which calls for further studies that should not only address said gap but also, more importantly, give way to further development of the SME sector.
Poor Writing Skills in the Modern Workplace
The adverse effects of employees’ poor writing skills are costly. (Eight Essential Writing Skills for Techies) As stated in a certain article, “In 2004, the National Commission in Writing estimated that remedying deficiencies in writing costs American corporations as much as $3.1. billion annually.” (Eight Essential Writing Skills for Techies) Delving further into this, poor writing skills can adversely affect a company’s image, disrupt work processes and turn-off prospective clients. Specifically, it could entail incorrect procedures, ineffective letters, internal and external miscommunication, customer’s loss of interest and convenience. (Wilkie) In addition to these, a lot of money is being spent on training programs geared towards the improvement of employees’ writing skills. To wit, “Corporate America spends billions of dollars annually on remedial writing programs for employees at all levels.’ (Wilkie)
Moreover, in this age where virtual communications abound, the impact of poor writing skills in the workplace is even more felt. Communications that were before done on telephones, are now being done via emails, instant messages and through downloaded documents, thus, a bulk of office employees are spending more and more hours each day reading and doing emails, reports and memos and other online correspondences. Poor written communication skills could therefore entail loss of time and even loss of employee productivity. (Tomkins)These costs would be curtailed, if not totally eliminated, if problems regarding employees’ poor written communication skills are addressed. Add to this the benefits and advantages that could be entailed by the absence of this particular problem in the workplace. As a statement in an article entitled “Poor Writing Saps Productivity” aptly puts it, “Internally, effective writing can make your workforce more productive. Externally, it can leave a positive impression with your clients and prospects because you won’t waste their time.” (Tomkins)
Benjamin, Tomkins. “Poor Writing Saps Productivity.” All Business. 8 June 2006. 28 Sept. 2008 <http://www.allbusiness.com/marketing-advertising/product- positioning/3878650-1.html>.
“Eight Essential Writing Skills For Techies.” E-Write. 28 Sept. 2008 <http://www.ewriteonline.com/ht/display/articledetails/i/1439>.
Newberry, Derek. “The Role of Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Futures of Emerging Economies.” Earth Trends. Dec. 2006. 28 Sept. 2008 <http://earthtrends.wri.org/pdf_library/feature/eco_fea_sme.pdf>.
“OECD-APEC Keynote Paper on Removing Barriers to SME Access to International Markets Executive Summary.” Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. 28 Sept. 2008 <http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/16/37818320.pdf>.
Watson, John. “The SME ‘Finance Gap’: Myth or Reality?” CPA Australia. Mar. 2006. 28 Sept. 2008 <http://www.cpaaustralia.com.au/cps/rde/xbcr/sid-3f57fecb- 6b73dd16/cpa/financegapreport.pdf>.
Wilkie, Helen. “Employees’ Poor Writing Skills Can Lead to Lost Profit.” Ezine Articles. 28 Sept. 2008 <http://ezinearticles.com/?employees-poor-writing-skills-can-lead-to-lost- profit&id=466036>.