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.
- 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
- Watch the BEAM webinar #Digital4MSME: using the market systems approach for digital transformation, that took place on 5th October 2021, with presentations from the report's author and two related case studies.
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."