Resilience and Recovery: A Chronological Analysis of Nanoenterprises Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on nanoenterprises (NEs) worldwide, with various stages of recovery, demand trends, and access to supplies experienced throughout the course of the pandemic. This article examines the chronological analysis of NEs’ recovery, demand trends, and access to supplies from March 2020 to December 2022, based on the Rapid Community Assessment conducted by the Social Enterprise Development Partnerships, Inc. (SEDPI). By analyzing these trends, we can better understand the challenges faced by NEs and the factors contributing to their resilience and adaptability.

March 2020: Initial Pandemic Impact, Demand Shift, and Supply Chain Disruptions

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, 34% of NEs stopped their operations due to lockdowns and social distancing measures, while 66% resumed operations. Demand was characterized by 8% of NEs experiencing no buyers, 78% experiencing weak demand, and 13% witnessing strong demand, as consumers’ priorities shifted towards essential goods and services. Supply chain disruptions affected NEs, with 36% facing difficult access to supplies and 64% having access to necessary resources.

June 2020: Early Recovery, Persistent Weak Demand, and Supply Chain Struggles

In June 2020, the recovery of NEs continued, with 91% resuming operations and only 9% remaining closed. However, demand remained weak, with 7% of NEs having no buyers, 72% facing weak demand, and 21% enjoying strong demand. Access to supplies was a significant challenge, as 81% of NEs had adequate access while 19% faced difficulties due to ongoing supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic.

December 2020: Relief, Recovery, Improved Demand, and Better Supply Access Amid Typhoon Vicky’s Impact

By December 2020, government relief packages and easing of lockdown restrictions helped many NEs recover, with 3% remaining closed and 96% resuming operations. Demand improved slightly, with 4% of NEs having no buyers, 75% facing weak demand, and 21% enjoying strong demand. The holiday season likely contributed to increased consumer spending. Access to supplies significantly improved, with 90% of NEs having access and only 10% experiencing difficulties.

However, during this period, Typhoon Vicky hit the region, causing agricultural production losses in rice, corn, high-value crops, and livestock. The typhoon also triggered floods and landslides, resulting in damaged or destroyed homes in coastal areas. The natural disaster added challenges to the recovery process of nanoenterprises, particularly those in the affected areas and those dependent on agricultural production. Although the overall trend in December 2020 indicated progress in recovery, improved demand, and better access to supplies for nanoenterprises, the recovery would have been even more significant if not for the added challenges brought about by Typhoon Vicky.

March 2021: Steady Recovery, Increased Strong Demand, and Improved Supply Access

By March 2021, the situation for NEs had improved, with 97% resuming operations and only 3% remaining closed. Demand patterns shifted, with only 1% of NEs having no buyers, 52% experiencing weak demand, and 47% enjoying strong demand, likely due to the easing of restrictions and ongoing vaccination campaigns. Access to supplies improved, with 73% of NEs having adequate access and 27% still facing difficulties.

June 2021: Full Recovery, Diverse Demand, and Enhanced Access to Supplies

By June 2021, 100% of NEs resumed operations, marking a full recovery in this period. Demand varied, with 2% of NEs having no buyers, 64% facing weak demand, and 34% experiencing strong demand. Access to supplies continued to improve, with 82% of NEs having adequate access and only 18% facing difficulties.

September 2021: Delta Variant Surge, Granular Lockdowns, and Nanoenterprise Adaptation

In September 2021, the Delta variant surged in the Philippines, prompting the government to implement granular lockdowns as opposed to the general lockdowns previously imposed. This new approach aimed to prevent the wholesale disruption of jobs and livelihoods while still addressing the public health crisis. Despite the surge and the implementation of granular lockdowns, 96% of NEs continued to operate, while only 4% temporarily stopped their operations.

Demand patterns during this period fluctuated, with 12% of NEs having no buyers, 66% experiencing weak demand, and 22% witnessing strong demand. As the granular lockdowns targeted specific areas with high infection rates, many nanoenterprises had to quickly adapt to the changing circumstances and market conditions. Access to supplies remained relatively stable, with 77% of NEs having adequate access and 23% facing difficulties.

The September 2021 period demonstrated the resilience of nanoenterprises in the face of new challenges posed by the Delta variant and the government’s shift in lockdown strategy. Despite the hurdles, the sector continued to adapt and maintain its operations, contributing to the nation’s economic recovery.

December 2021: Continued Recovery, Increased Strong Demand, and Moderate Access to Supplies

By December 2021, widespread vaccination campaigns allowed for more relaxed social distancing measures and a resurgence in consumer demand. The percentage of stopped NEs remained at 3%, while 97% resumed operations. Demand for NE products and services further improved, with 9% of NEs having no buyers, 65% facing weak demand, and 26% experiencing strong demand. Access to supplies became more moderate, with 77% of NEs having access and 23% facing difficulties.

March 2022: Steady Operations, Persistent Weak Demand, and Improved Access to Supplies

By March 2022, the status of operations remained consistent, with 4% of NEs stopped and 96% resumed operations. Demand continued to lean towards weakness, as 8% of NEs had no buyers, 67% faced weak demand, and 26% experienced strong demand. However, access to supplies significantly improved, with 85% of NEs having access and only 15% facing difficulties.

September 2022: Temporary Setbacks, Fluctuating Demand, and Slightly Reduced Access to Supplies

In September 2022, the temporary increase in stopped NEs to 4% could be attributed to localized outbreaks and new COVID-19 variants. Despite these setbacks, 96% of NEs remained operational. However, demand patterns fluctuated, with 15% of NEs having no buyers, 36% experiencing weak demand, and 49% witnessing strong demand. Access to supplies slightly declined, with 73% of NEs having access and 27% facing difficulties.

December 2022: High Inflation Impact on Nanoenterprises, Demand Patterns, and Purchasing Power

In December 2022, the Philippines’ headline inflation increased to 8.1 percent, as reported by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA). The high inflation rate led to a decrease in purchasing power, resulting in reduced consumer spending, particularly among low-income households. Despite the inflationary pressures, 99% of NEs remained operational, while only 1% stopped their operations, showcasing the resilience of the sector. 

Compared to September 2022, when 36% of NEs faced weak demand, the percentage increased to 52% in December 2022, illustrating the heightened challenges for these enterprises due to reduced consumer spending amid high inflation. The decreased purchasing power of consumers, especially in low-income households, contributed to the fluctuations in demand patterns for nanoenterprises.

Access to supplies remained relatively stable, with 73% of NEs having access to necessary resources and 27% facing difficulties in acquiring them. The December 2022 period highlighted the challenges faced by nanoenterprises due to high inflation and its impact on consumer spending, while also demonstrating the adaptability of the sector in sustaining operations amid economic challenges.


Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and various external challenges, such as natural disasters and high inflation, nanoenterprises have consistently demonstrated resilience and adaptability in maintaining operations, responding to fluctuating demand, and navigating supply chain disruptions. As of December 2022, the sector has reached a near full recovery, with stabilizing demand patterns and steady access to supplies. The findings from SEDPI’s Rapid Community Assessment underscore the importance of continued support and empowerment for nanoenterprises, as they play a crucial role in local economies and communities. As the world moves forward from the pandemic’s impact, fostering collaboration between government, business, and community organizations will remain vital in ensuring the sustained success and growth of nanoenterprises in the face of ongoing and future challenges.


In December 2022, the Rapid Community Assessment (RCA) conducted by SEDPI garnered responses from 1,398 respondents across the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur. The profile of respondents in this edition of the survey was similar to that of previous editions. The majority of respondents were female (86%), with an average age of 43, and 73% of them were married. When it came to sources of income, 40% were employed, 45% were nanoenterprise owners, 12% were unpaid family members contributing to the family business, and 2% were unemployed.

Nanoenterprise status

 Mar’20Jun ’20Dec ’20Mar’21Jun ’21Sep ’21Dec 21Mar ’22Sep’ 22Dec 22

Market demand for NE products and services

 Mar’20Jun ’20Dec ’20Mar’21Jun ’21Sep ’21Dec 21Mar ’22Sep’ 22Dec 22
No buyers8%7%4%1%2%12%9%8%15%6%
Weak demand78%72%75%52%64%66%65%67%36%52%
Strong demand13%21%21%47%34%22%26%26%49%42%

Access to supplies for NE livelihood operations

 Mar’20Jun ’20Dec ’20Mar’21Jun ’21Sep ’21Dec 21Mar ’22Sep’ 22Dec 22
With access64%81%90%73%82%77%77%85%73%73%
Challenge in access36%19%10%27%18%23%23%15%27%27%

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