Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) and MicroSave Consulting (MSC) on Thursday hosted a virtual workshop titled 'Assessment of the impact of Covid-19 on MSMEs in Asia and Africa'.
In the workshop, MSC launched the findings of a multi-country assessment study on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on MSMEs and women in Asia and Africa, said a press release.
The esteemed panel members present in the workshop included Mike McCaffrey, East and Southern Africa Regional Manager of UNCDF; Payal Dalal, Senior Vice President, Social Impact, International Markets of Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth; Evelyn Stark, Financial Health Strategy Lead of MetLife Foundation; and Mark Napier, CEO of FSD Africa. Graham A.N. Wright, Group Managing Director of MSC, moderated the workshop.
The MSC research examined the needs, attitudes, perceptions, and behaviours of micro and small enterprises, farmers, and CICO agents in several countries including Kenya, Uganda, India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Senegal, and the Philippines.
The research involved an assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on key segments of the economy in these countries and the response of the governments and the private sector to deal with the pandemic.
At the launch, Evelyn Stark, Financial Health Strategy Lead, MetLife Foundation remarked that one of the biggest coping mechanisms they have observed during the pandemic is the increase in savings into more formal products like mobile wallets, credit unions, etc. and a decrease in the demand for credit from the masses but an increase of credit from the MSME side to re-start their business.
"42% of MSMEs and small businesses are in direct risk of failure in the next 6 months and irrespective of an economy's level of development, size, geographical location, women have been disproportionately more vulnerable to the economic consequences of this pandemic," remarked Payal Dalal, Senior Vice President, Social Impact, International Markets, Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.