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Africa’s retail SMEs optimistic about future growth

By our News Team | 2021

Seventy-eight percent of SMEs in retail across Middle East and Africa optimistic about future growth – Mastercard Confidence Index.

Small and medium enterprise (SME) confidence across most sectors is on the rise in Africa, according to the latest research by Mastercard. This comes notwithstanding the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The inaugural Mastercard Middle East and Africa (MEA) SME Confidence Index found that 78% of SMEs in the region’s retail sector are optimistic about the next 12 months. Confidence levels were highest among retail businesses, slightly ahead of other sectors, like food and beverage, entertainment, construction and manufacturing.

In addition, 70% of SMEs in retail are projecting revenues that will either grow or hold steady. Half are projecting an increase.

Photo by monkeybusinessimages on iStock

Access to skills, digital payments and data key for future growth

Many regional economies are gradually re-entering the normalisation and growth phase, as social restrictions continue to ease. In this process, SMEs in the African retail sector have identified the top drivers for growth as being:

  • Training and upskilling staff (55%)
  • Acceptance of digital payments (49%)
  • Better data and insights (49%)
  • Easier access to finance (49%).

As part of their support to the retail sector, payment processing companies typically offer technology, data insights, consulting and predictive analytics solutions to empower retailers to acquire new customers, enhance customer loyalty and improve operations.

This provides retailers with insights and a 360-degree view of their shoppers, with the payment processing operator’s platforms and services translating those data-driven insights into action.

For many small businesses, reducing their dependence on cash through digital payments acceptance, has played a major factor in being able to get paid and maintain revenues.

Source: Mastercard

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