Climate change poses severe risks to Micro-, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs), including damage to infrastructure, increased financial risks, regulatory uncertainties, market fluctuations and supply chain disruptions. Despite these risks, climate action often remains low on small companies’ agendas as it involves high upfront capital costs.

With increasing sustainability demands and economy-wide low carbon transitions, MSMEs will need to adopt climate-friendly practices or change business operations and products to stay competitive and protect livelihoods. This will require reskilling of workers and institutional support for MSMEs.

CREST and WRI India aim to support 100 MSMEs and 1,000 workers through research and reskilling, helping them build capacity, prepare their business models for the future and support resilient livelihoods within a changing climate.

Enhancing MSME Resilience in a Changing Climate

A multi-pronged approach will be used to support two MSME clusters in two Indian states, with a focus on building enterprises’ ability to respond to the climate crisis and prepare for a low carbon future — particularly those that employ marginalized populations. These approaches include:


WRI India’s research will identify climate-related vulnerabilities that may affect MSMEs and workers in two clusters and build their capacity to undertake recommended measures. It will also assess the decarbonization potential of MSMEs and their existing capacities, and train them to adopt low carbon interventions. Additionally, our work will focus on identifying and supporting the skilling and upskilling needs of MSMEs to sustain jobs and livelihoods and enable a just low carbon transition.

Capacity Building

Findings from the research will be used to identify MSMEs’ capacity needs and develop capacity-building modules for MSME entrepreneurs and workers to strengthen their understanding of climate change. These will include training workshops, sector-specific reskilling and climate-proofing. Overall, the effect of capacity-building activities on MSME entrepreneurs and workers will be assessed, including their ability to act on climate challenges and to plan for a just transition.

Dialogue, Engagement and Outreach

Create a platform to document MSME voices and case studies, including those from women-led MSMEs. Research findings, learnings and successes will be shared with MSMEs, state and national governments and business leaders through informational content, commentaries, videos and webinars.


  • Build resilience of two MSME clusters in two Indian states, and train entrepreneurs and workers from at least 100 MSMEs to build resilience, implement climate actions and access climate finance.
  • Help MSME associations, industry associations, and specific line ministries in state and central governments adopt processes and/or programs to build on the success stories of the project.
  • Contribute to an enhanced dialogue on building resilient livelihoods within MSMEs among industry and national and state governments.

Additional Resources:


Cover image by Steffi Olickal/WRI India