Gendered Impacts of COVID-19 on Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in Sri Lanka

Findings from a survey and interviews with SME clients of financial institutions

This report presents a snapshot of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) across Sri Lanka, with a focus on the different impacts experienced by women-owned and managed businesses (WSME), as compared to those owned by men (MSME) and those owned jointly by a woman and a man (JSME). Research was conducted between June 22 and July 22, 2020, with SME clients of four financial institutions and from the distribution network of one fast-moving consumer goods company. Because all surveys and interviews were conducted with active clients of financial institutions, or active distributors from CBL, there is likely to be some bias towards more formal and potentially higher capacity and more financially resilient SMEs than the broader SME population in Sri Lanka. For this reason, the results of this study should not be assumed to be representative of the whole SME population.