The COVID-9 pandemic accelerated a worldwide trend toward digitizing business advisory, coaching, training, and technical assistance services for small and growing businesses (SGBs). A recent ANDE survey of 30 enterprise support providers found the average share of digital services jumped from 24 percent pre-pandemic to 72 percent at the end of 2020.
In 2019, the West African entrepreneurial ecosystem experienced major development, with the rise of tech hubs and impact investing activities. There was particularly an increase in direct and indirect investment funds from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), as indicated in ANDE’s recent State of the Small and Growing Business Sector report.
2019 was a promising year for the small and growing business (SGB) ecosystem. The recently released State of the Small and Growing Business Sector report from ANDE shows that a wide variety of investment vehicles were launched last year, committing capital close to $3 billion.
Almost overnight our external reality changed, and so did that of our entrepreneurs — and in a matter of weeks a lot of the impact we all have worked hard for the past many years vanished; revenues and profitability plummeted; people were furloughed, fired or salaries cut; investments ground to a halt.