Despite an increase in surveys focusing on SMMEs in South Africa, particularly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, these have not focused specifically on micro and informal businesses or have not included an analysis of their unique situation and needs in all nine provinces in South Africa. This highlighted the importance of conducting a focused study on micro and informal businesses and their recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The specific objectives of the study were to:
* Examine the extent to which existing support programmes have reached micro and informal businesses
* Determine which types of assistance entrepreneurs believe are necessary to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, the associated lockdown, and to grow their business in the long run;
* Identify which assistance is required to ensure that the sector can contribute to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and
* Describe the impact on women and youth, as well as the extent to which they were disproportionately affected.
The study incorporated both primary and secondary research, including literature review, expert interviews, a nationwide survey with 3746 business owners, and focus groups with female and young entrepreneurs in the sector.
Funded by the Government of Japan, this study was commissioned as a recommendation following a partnership between UNDP, the United Nations System, and the Government of South Africa, to analyze the socio-economic impact of the pandemic on the South Africa population, and a rapid emergency needs analysis of the most vulnerable groups. Through that partnership, two reports were published that paved way for this study.