Enhancing Access to Finance and Digital Skills for SMEs in Liberia: REALISE Project Baseline Survey

Our team successfully concluded a comprehensive data collection effort for the REALISE Project, designed to assess the impact of digital skills and financial access interventions on Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Liberia. This baseline survey reached a remarkable 7,240 respondents, spanning across 20 communities in two primary survey categories. The Market Sector Survey collected data from 4,286 respondents, while the Face-to-Face Baseline Survey gathered insights from 3,036 participants.

The data collection team employed a sampling method to ensure a diverse and representative pool of respondents, reflective of the SME landscape in Liberia. Notably, 88.8% of participants in the Market Sector Survey were women, underscoring the significant role women play in Liberia’s SME sector. In the Face-to-Face Baseline Survey, women accounted for 82.7% of respondents, further highlighting their crucial contribution to the economy. The survey teams also adapted their approach to accommodate respondents with disabilities, reinforcing their commitment to inclusivity.

Throughout the data collection process, the Research and Innovations Hub maintained quality assurance protocols, including spot checks, daily debriefs, and robust data management systems. Despite facing challenges such as resistance from some community leaders and weather-related disruptions, the team overcame these obstacles to ensure the successful completion of the survey. The insights gathered from this survey will be instrumental in shaping future initiatives to improve access to finance and digital skills for SMEs in Liberia.

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