Title: COVID-19 and MSMEs: basic insights from India on revival through financial inclusion backed by digital technologies

Authors: K. Rajamani; A.G. Rekha

Addresses: Mepco School of Management Studies, Mepco Schlenk Engineering College (Autonomous), Sivakasi, Tamilnadu, 626005, India ' State Bank of India, Digital and Transaction Banking Department, LHO Thiruvananthapuram, India

Abstract: MSMEs are facing a double-edged sword that of a health crisis combined with an economic crisis. They have been worst hit due to COVID-19 and prolonged lockdown and are facing a myriad of challenges with regard to restarting of business. One of the frequently identified challenges to the development of the MSME sector is access to finance. The significance of this challenge is higher than ever in the pandemic and post-pandemic scenario. This paper explores the issues involved in MSME financing and the opportunities offered by ICT for overcoming those issues. Digital technologies offer the potential to radically improve financial inclusion in the MSME sector by overcoming the obstacles that affect the supply and demand for financial services. This study contends and proposes a financial ecosystem backed by emerging innovative technologies that offer a holistic approach for achieving inclusive growth and bridging the gap between demand and supply in MSMEs.

Keywords: digital transformation; COVID-19; financial inclusion; micro small and medium enterprises; MSME; India.

DOI: 10.1504/WRSTSD.2023.131931

World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, 2023 Vol.19 No.3, pp.214 - 224

Received: 29 Oct 2020
Accepted: 12 Jun 2021

Published online: 05 Jul 2023 *

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