MSEs are the driving force of many developing and emerging economies. How can digital financial services help business owners build resilience to thrive in the digital economy?

Our research on micro and small enterprises (MSEs) aims to understand how digital adoption translates into better financial resilience for MSEs and to identify the drivers of a supporting enabling environment.

MSEs are the backbone of the economy, accounting for approximately 90% of businesses and employing more than 50% of the labor force in some markets. When MSEs use digital tools and digital financial services, they establish data trails that allow financial service providers to innovate and deliver additional financial services, like insurance and credit, at affordable rates. This in turn, helps MSEs become more resilient and financially sustainable.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we saw a massive uptake of digital financial services by micro and small business owners. However, despite the exponential growth in digital adoption during and immediately following the pandemic, there is little research to date to show the impact of this adoption on MSEs’ financial resilience and well-being. At CFI, we aim to understand this gap.

Featured Project

With funding from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and under the Mastercard Accion Partnership, CFI is focused on understanding how digital adoption impacts MSE’s resilience, well-being, and ability manage shocks.

In June 2020, CFI launched a longitudinal survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on MSEs in four target markets: Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.

In 2023, Mastercard and Accion renewed their partnership, initiating the next phase of CFI’s research that aims to shed light on what can help MSEs to thrive in the digital economy and to identify drivers and risks associated with digital adoption.

challenges and Crises

COVID-19 & MSEs: Data and Analysis to Understand Impact

How did COVID-19 impact MSEs?

CFI’s dashboards provide insights from four countries: Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Nigeria. Interact with country-specific data to find out how MSE owners are responding to the crisis. And don’t miss our insights and analysis below.

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View our resources on micro and small enterprises.

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