Fragile recovery persists among nanoenterprises post pandemic

Update 18 of SEDPI’s Rapid Community Assessment (RCA)
October – December 2022

As the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, the economic landscape remains uncertain, especially for nanoenterprises. A recent survey conducted by our organization, Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. (SEDPI), reveals that 99% of nanoenterprises have resumed operations as of December 2022, indicating a promising recovery for this crucial sector of the economy.

Despite the positive news, recovery remains fragile with 52% of nanoenterprises surveyed experiencing weak demand. Access to supplies has been a continuing concern with 27% of nanoenterprises still reporting difficulties in obtaining the necessary supplies.

SEDPI’s latest self-rated poverty survey reveals that the impact of the pandemic on poverty levels remains significant. For 2022, 54% of respondents rated themselves at the poverty line, a decrease from 81% in 2021. The number of respondents who rated themselves as poor is steady at 3% and 4%. On a positive note, the number of respondents who no longer consider themselves poor nearly tripled from 16% in 2021 to 41% in 2022.

According to the Social Weather Stations, which conducts the survey at the national level, self-rated poverty was recorded at 48% in 2021 and 51% in 2022. The considerably elevated self-rated poverty at the national level suggest that a greater number of nanoenterprises that SEDPI serves experienced better economic conditions.

Over the past three years, SEDPI has conducted an impact assessment to evaluate its support for nanoenterprises through self-evaluation or perception surveys. The results are as follows:

 Dec 19Dec 21Dec 22
Help in growing business82%100%98%
Education of children70%85%98%
Improve housing67%99%98%
Improve nutrition81%100%100%
Increase income82%100%97%

The perception survey suggests that SEDPI’s assistance plays a crucial role in alleviating hardships among nanoenterprises in areas such as business growth, education, housing, nutrition, and income. This may be the reason why the highly significantly lower self-rated poverty data among SEDPI nanoenterprises compared to the national survey. Additional interventions and strategies in the areas of disaster risk reduction, housing and health are necessary to enable a more comprehensive and lasting escape from poverty.

The majority of respondents are nanoenterprises (45%), owned and operated by women, with an average age of 43 and 73% being married. Of these nanoenterprises, 40% rely on other sources of income, such as employment, while 12% are unpaid family members, and 2% are unemployed.

SEDPI is a microfinance institution dedicated to providing ethical financing to nanoenterprises in Agusan del Sur, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur. Their efforts have led to significant improvements in various aspects of the beneficiaries’ lives, such as business growth, education, housing, nutrition, and income.

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