The novel coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) globally, with many facing an unprecedented crisis.
Over the years, MSMEs have rebounded from recessions, natural disasters and other challenges that have hampered their growth. However, nothing has prepared them for the scourge of COVID-19, which has left many teetering on the brink of collapse.
To understand the scope of devastation, one needs to only look at the effect it has had in other developing economies and our own. In India, for example, MSME’s suffered a drop in earnings of between 20 and 50 per cent. MSMEs, which account for as much as 29 per cent of gross domestic product, buckled under the pressure of lockdowns. The impact was similar in countries across Africa and Latin America. In Latin America, some 34 million jobs were lost as a result of the pandemic.