Facebook, OECD, World Bank Examine Covid-19’s Impact on Micro-Businesses


The pandemic continues to impact businesses of all sizes, but those owned and operated by a single person are being hit particularly hard, according to the fifth edition of the Global State of Small Business Report, which was released by Facebook Thursday.

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The social network is involved in an ongoing research collaboration with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Bank, and over 25,000 small business leaders across 50 countries were surveyed in September for this installment.

Findings included:

  • Micro-businesses have closed at a higher rate than their larger peers, in part reflecting their higher concentration in industries that are vulnerable to lockdowns, such as retail and services.
  • Over the five surveys to date, on average, 49% of micro-businesses were female-led, compared with only 26% of businesses with 10 employees or more.
  • Overall, small and midsized businesses continue to face an environment of reduced demand and limited sales opportunities, with 56% of operational SMBs reporting lower sales in September versus September 2019.

Facebook, OECD and the World Bank wrote in the report, “As financial and employment support programs taper off, the evidence collected in this report, together with the established literature, suggests that micro-businesses may be particularly vulnerable relative to their larger peers. How governments and institutions approach the question of financial support in the coming months will likely have a significant impact on the SMB sector, particularly for these smaller businesses.”

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