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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


MSP and the BEAM Exchange are seeking feedback on MSD tools in the beta library to identify those tools that have the greatest proven utility and impact. We are asking the MSD community to complete a short survey (2 mins) of their top 5-10 tools to provide input into this curation process. Click below to participate!

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