Strategies to Optimize MSME-Centered Supply Chain Finance Solutions: A Study of Ghana, Ethiopia, and Nigeria
The global pandemic and attendant economic crises painted in stark relief the dire reality of what exclusion from the digital economy truly means for Africa’s small-scale merchants. As lockdowns restricted access to customers and suppliers alike, disrupted supply chains led to empty shelves and small business owners saw both formal and informal channels for funding dry up, exacerbating persistent access to capital challenges. Adopting digitally enabled solutions to buy, run, and sell better became an imperative for the survival of the micro, small, and medium businesses (MSMEs).
Building on Accion's previous work that explored how digitized supply chains can help small businesses grow, Accion undertook a study in three key African markets, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, to identify opportunities for enhancing and scaling digitally enabled supply chain finance (SCF) solutions to accelerate growth of MSME merchants. The activities were focused on:
- Understanding the general supply chain landscape, country-specific challenges, pain points, and opportunities for addressing latent or unmet needs of key actors.
- Identifying context-specific key building blocks for successfully offering and expanding supply chain financing for small and micro retailers, as well as exploring trade-offs and key success factors.
- Providing pragmatic, actionable recommendations for implementation and the role of third parties in the SCF ecosystem.