The data from CFI’s surveys on emerging-market MSMEs tells a stark tale: COVID-19 has closed 15 percent of all businesses; 83 percent of operating MSMEs have seen a dramatic decline in profits, leading to struggles covering operating expenses; 46 percent of closed MSMEs report government-imposed restrictions on movement as the most direct cause of their business closure. There is no obvious “best practice” coping strategy MSMEs are using, and it’s a tough road for many MSMEs trying to return to pre-pandemic financial health.

Armed with the right insights and data, however, policymakers and other ecosystem actors can target interventions that help rather than harm.

This report contains insights needed to support MSME recovery. It summarizes and analyzes the first wave of data from a research project on the financial health of MSME owners/operators during COVID-19. At the program’s core is a longitudinal, six-wave survey in four countries: Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. In each country, CFI is surveying MSME clients at one financial institution participating in our partnership with Mastercard every other month for one year.

Visit the COVID-19 and MSMEs: Data and Analysis to Understand Impact program page to interact with the data dashboards and read other analyses.

This work was conducted in partnership with Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.


Eric Noggle

Former Senior Research Director

Eric oversaw a portfolio of research projects examining consumer financial behavior and its determinants from 2018 to 2021 and led CFI’s workstream on the role of financial services in helping low-income communities mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Prior to joining CFI, Eric served as research director at Microfinance Opportunities. While there, he led numerous research projects — including nearly a dozen Financial Diaries studies — examining financial inclusion and its intersection with energy poverty, labor conditions, and smallholder farmers, among other topics. In addition, Eric analyzed the transaction data of numerous large financial service providers to identify insights that influenced policy, product, and service development. Prior to working in financial inclusion, Eric worked as a high school mathematics teacher.

Eric holds a master’s degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from the University of Nevada, Reno.

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