Date Published:
Apr 19, 2022
Focus Area(s):
DP 2022-15

Using a gender lens, this paper takes stock of economic relief measures that aim to foster the resilience of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to COVID-19. It does so by analyzing results from an online survey of MSMEs and by coming up with a definition of women-owned/led MSMEs (WMSMEs). The paper notes that a larger percentage of WMSMEs (1) find the lack of working capital, disruptions in the production/supply chain/business networks, a decline in domestic demand, and the lack of finances for digitization to be major obstacles; (2) find the lack of collateral/guarantee, high interest rates, and high repayment risks due to market uncertainties to be key challenges in accessing finance; (3) find the increasing cost of inputs, changing business strategies to offer alternative products and services, and reduced opportunities to meet new clients to be key general challenges; (4) have applied and received government support for training on digitization and online selling; programs related to business advisory, business/product development, marketing, financial literacy training, and mentoring/coaching programs; support to adopt digital technologies; and market access programs; and (5) find the support for digitization and the technical assistance to be substantially useful.

Comments to this paper are welcome within 60 days from the date of posting. Email

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