The Government of Eswatini has been working towards the development of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector. This is clear from the SMME Policy (2009), Micro Finance policy, Financial Sector Development Implementation Plan, Financial Sector Development Strategy and National Financial Inclusion Strategy. This report is prepared to provide insight into the Eswatini MSME sector using FinScope Eswatini MSME 2017 survey with the aim of allowing stakeholders to understand the characteristics of MSMEs, their owners and the challenges they face as this is useful in crafting strategies useful in accelerating MSME development in the country. The report used graphical analysis of profile of MSME owners, characteristics of small and medium businesses they own and the challenges they face in running their businesses. Although a myriad of studies exists concerning the sector, few, if any, have been developed to accurately capture the informal businesses that dominate the MSME sector.
Thus, in trying to understand and unlock the full potential of the sector, a FinScope MSME survey was conducted between October 2016 and March 2017. The main objective was to size and scope the MSMEs in Eswatini while describing the levels of access to financial products and services (both formal and informal). The study also attempted to identify the most binding constraints to MSME development with a focus on access to financial markets. The study also segmented the MSME sector into different categories in an effort to identify the needs of each segment and come up with recommendations for promotion of the segments.