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Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of most economies in sub-Saharan Africa. 

When it comes to the digitalisation of businesses, both economic development programmes and the IT and tech industries have often ignored this important business segment. Yet digitalisation is a key driver to strengthening the competitiveness of  MSMEs, and their ability to create jobs.

It is not only the most cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things (IoT), that offer promising prospects. For most micro and small businesses the adoption of 'basic' technologies - emails, websites and office software packages - can already bring far-reaching and transformative changes.

This guide:

  • looks at the benefits that the application of digital solutions can unlock for MSMEs - digitalisation can offer a path towards formality and financial inclusion for businesses operating in the informal economy
  • provides case studies of programmes that have worked with MSMEs and Business Development Service (BDS) providers to digitalise their operations using the MSD approach
  • reflects on how to refine and adapt fundamental MSD principles for the digitalisation of MSMEs


What practitioners say about the tool

"The tool is one of the rare no-nonsense pieces about the incorporation of digital technology in building small farmer and SME capacity in the agribusiness sector. It is a well structured piece to make the case for simple yet effective digital facilitation with our partners and the community at large."