COVID-19 and Women-Led MSMEs in Sub-Saharan Africa
This study aims to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on women-led micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in 13 African countries. It also seeks to appraise public-and private-sector interventions in sub-Saharan Africa, and to offer financial and non-financial solutions for financial institutions and development partners to consider. The report hopes to contribute to further strengthening of outcomes for micro- and small enterprises, especially those led by women.
The study's offers the following key findings:
- Over 90 percent of MSMEs across sub-Saharan Africa, especially those led by women, are suffering harsh economic impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Women-led MSMEs entered the pandemic with lower rates of financial inclusion than male-led MSMEs, and the pandemic exacerbated these trends.
- Despite challenges posed by the pandemic, over 90 percent of MSMEs still plan to maintain or expand their businesses over the next six to18 months.
- Few financial institutions offer products or support services specifically designed to fully include women entrepreneurs.