Mapping the Growth of MSMEs in Eswatini: 2023 Blended FinScope Survey Making Good Progress

The Centre for Financial Inclusion (CFI) together with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade, in partnership with Eswatini Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (ESEPARC) and the Central Statistical Office (CSO), is conducting a comprehensive survey to better understand the financial landscape and access to financial services for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. This survey, known as the FinScope Survey, is a global initiative developed by FinMark Trust (FMT) in South Africa and is conducted in over 30 countries worldwide.

The previous FinScope Survey in Eswatini was conducted in 2017/18, and now, five years later, it is time to measure the progress made since then. With MSMEs playing a vital role in the country’s economy, providing employment and income for a large part of the population, it is important to understand their interaction with financial services and how financial inclusion contributes to the growth of the sector.

The 2023 Blended MSME FinScope Survey is being implemented in two phases. The first phase, currently underway, is a listing exercise to build a comprehensive list of MSME businesses in Eswatini. A total of 320 Enumeration Areas (EA) have been selected for this exercise, targeting areas with a high probability of hosting MSMEs. Data collection involves visiting households and MSME business structures in these areas to determine the number of people who own businesses at household level and or have business structures in their homes or commercial/trading spaces.

The aim of this exercise is to gather quality data and have a thorough understanding of the type of businesses owned by MSMEs in Eswatini. This will help identify their specific financial service needs and track the growth of the sector. The CFI emphasises the importance of accurate and up-to-date information to inform policy decisions and drive the development and growth of MSMEs in the country by enhancing the level of financial inclusion.

The FinScope Survey is a powerful tool that has been used globally to measure financial inclusion and access to financial services. Its results provide valuable insights into the financial landscape and the impact of different policies and initiatives on the growth of the sector. With the 2023 Blended MSME FinScope Survey, Eswatini is once again taking important steps towards promoting financial inclusion and supporting the development of its MSMEs.

ESEPARC data collectors have reach 250 out of the 320 EAs (almost 80%) in phase one of the FinScope Survey. Your participation is greatly appreciated and below is a snapshot of the MSMEs that have been listed through phase one.

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