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.


Lauren Braniff

Former Vice President, Strategy and Communications

Lauren served as CFI’s Vice President of Strategy and Communications, engaging with CFI’s researchers to produce meaningful knowledge products in support of CFI’s strategy. Lauren was previously Senior Director, Strategy and Portfolio Management at Marriott International, where she led strategic initiatives for the Digital Guest Experience program. Prior to this, she worked in inclusive finance for 15 years, focused on digital financial services and strategic communications. Lauren worked at CGAP for 12 years, most recently leading research and projects on digital finance innovations for the health and education sectors. Lauren also served as the Managing Editor of the FinDev Gateway and founder of the Gateway Academy, in addition to roles as a microenterprise consultant and researcher at an education nonprofit. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in International Political Economy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in International Development from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

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