Opportunity – Financing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone

Assignment Title: Financing Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone
Assignment Country
  • GM – Gambia, The
  • GN – Guinea
  • SL – Sierra Leone

The objective of this study is to perform in-depth market assessments of the MSME finance markets in The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone through researching the respective business, financial and regulatory environments related to MSMEs, and quantify the unmet financial needs of Gambian, Guinean and Sierra Leone MSMEs.

Specifically, the study is expected to help local financial institutions to:
Assess key areas of the market opportunity related to MSMEs and determine priority segments for future expansion;
Understand the key MSME value chains
Identify the key actors and stakeholders for MSME finance in the markets including government and donor programs supporting MSME lending
Define and / or review their MSME strategies and improve their operating models (such as organization, customer segmentation, product and services, risk management, distribution channels, etc.) to better serve and penetrate the MSME market;
Address barriers in terms of access to finance and improve risk management;
Seek solutions to aid MSME business growth and employment creation.

The final product of the market assessment will be three reports sizing and mapping the MSME market of each of the following three countries: The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, highlighting MSMEs business and financial challenges, current use and unmet needs for financial and non-financial services for MSMEs. It will identify industry variations in MSMEs access to finance and highlight implications for financial institutions to better serve MSME clients. The study will also consider gender dimensions and will include insights on the differences between women- and men-owned MSMEs.

The assessment will have two phases:
In the first phase, the firm will give an overview of the enabling environment and the supply-side perspective by performing desk research and conducting stakeholder interviews in each of the three countries. For Guinea, Phase I is expected to be less comprehensive than for the other two countries. The firm will be able to leverage existing information IFC has on the Guinean market of women-led MSMEs and will just be expected to complement and complete information from a relevant assessment in Guinea in 2018.

In the second phase, a demand-side focused survey will be carried out in each country.
The firm will survey a total of approximately 2500 MSMEs across The Gambia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Surveys should be representative on country level as much as possible. Firms should ideally leverage local business registry lists as sampling frames.

The assignment is expected to begin as soon as possible in all three countries in parallel and conclude within 4 months. The firm is expected to start in January/ February 2020.

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