Preparing MSMEs for Future Crises: Lessons From COVID-19

Categories : Customer and Users of Digital Payments, MSME's


Author: Centre for Financial Inclusion

Accounting for about 90 percent of businesses and employing more than 50 percent of the labor force in some markets, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the economy. However, since the pandemic began, MSME owners have experienced severe crises and challenges to their businesses. To understand the impact of the pandemic on these businesses and households, CFI conducted a longitudinal survey of over 1,600 MSME owners from June 2020 to October 2021 over six waves, and conducted focus groups of 130 MSME owners from march to April 2022 in four countries — Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

This publication provides insights into how MSMEs have navigated challenges presented by the pandemic and what support they had available. It also presents lessons learned to help prepare for future crises, as well as recommendations for what inclusive finance stakeholders can prioritize to improve MSME resilience.