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Ready for Risk: A Business Continuity Management Toolkit for Women SME Entrepreneurs

China Centre for Promotion of SME Development UN Women China Office


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Ready for Risk: A Business Continuity Management Toolkit for Women SME Entrepreneurs

Ready for Risk: A Business Continuity Management Toolkit for Women SME Entrepreneurs

Ready for Risk: A Business Continuity Management Toolkit for Women SME Entrepreneurs provides a grounding in risk control and business continuity, with reference to the COVID-18 pandemic response. Created by the UN Women China Office and China Centre for Promotion of SME Development, it offers a step-by-step guide, checklist and tools for SME leaders to better address risks and build their gender-responsive business continuity management system. 

This toolkit is based on the International Business Continuity Management Standard ISO 22301 and has been designed to meet the specific and practical needs of women entrepreneurs. Moreover, it has been field-tested by women entrepreneurs and adjusted based on the feedback of those who took part in a pilot training on the topic conducted last October 2021 in Wuhan, China. 

The toolkit was originally developed for women SME entrepreneurs in China but has since been developed to be broadly available for SME leaders across the world—from those who have little to no understanding of business continuity management, to those who wish to strengthen their strength control capability. 


  • How to use this toolkit
  • An introduction to business continuity
    • Module 1: Building a business continuity management system
      • An overview of business continuity
      • The building blocks of business continuity
      • Six steps to a BCP
    • Activities
  • Applying business continuity 
      • Module 2: Building top-level design systems 
        • The ‘wartime’ top-level design of a crisis
        • The poor crisis ‘normalization’ of top-level design
      • Activities
      • Module 3: Preventing and controlling financial and tax risk
        • Financial strategies for crisis response
        • Measures to cope with financial and tax risk
        • Stop-loss strategies
      • Activities
      • Module 4: Moving marketing online
        • Post-crisis marketing
        • Key marketing transformation strategies
        • Classifying customers
        • Competitive differentiation
        • Redesigning your market approach
      • Activities
      • Module 5: Managing compliance and preventing risk
        • Compliance risks in a crisis
        • Ensuring post-crisis compliance
      • Activities
      • Module 6: Human resources and employee management
        • Human resource and management in a crisis
        • Human resource after an outbreak
        • Salary reductions or delays
      • Activities
  • Business continuity in practice: cases
    • Module 7: SME responses to emergency 
      • Case one: A restaurant chain’s COVID-19 response
      • Case two: A shoe company reorients to bypass international export challenges
      • Case three: Lenovo gets back on track with flexible employment and digital technologies
    • Module 8: Housekeeping companies in crisis 
      • Case one: Negotiating COVID-19 infection risks and breach of contract
      • Case two: Intermediary agents and the unclean division of responsibilities
    • Conclusion and analysis
  • Appendices
    • Appendix 1: Crisis loss checklist
    • Appendix 2: Sample of an actual business continuity plan
    • Appendix 3: Summary of basic company financial and tax conditions
    • Appendix 4: Tests for financial health
    • Appendix 5: The Women’s Empowerment Principles
  • References


This toolkit was originally published on the UN Women website. 

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