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Poverty among nanoenterprises worsens amid the pandemic

In 2019, 34% of nanoenterprises consider themselves as non-poor. This worsened to 16% in 2021. Conversely, those who considered themselves poor or within the poverty line rose from 66% to 84% in 2019 and 2021 respectively.

Nanoenterprise recovery

Nanoenterprises that resumed operations for the fourth quarter of 2021 is the lowest for the year at 22%. The rate is higher compared to the 17% rate recorded in the same quarter last year.

Majority or 65% of nanoenterprises experienced weak demand for their products and services in spite of the fourth quarter of the year typically exhibiting the strongest. Although this is already an improvement compared to the 75% recorded at the same quarter last year.

These finding point to a slower than expected recovery at the grassroots level due to the Delta variant surge of COVID-19. Ironically, there were no reported confirmed nor of any probable or suspect COVID-19 cases among the respondents.

Vaccination status

Almost all of the respondents or 97% have already been vaccinated and all are willing to get vaccinated. This is an improvement from 40% vaccination rate and 40% vaccine hesitancy rate the previous quarter.

Government assistance

From almost everyone (98%) receiving relief goods from the government last 2020, this dropped to 43% for 2021. Those who received relief goods this year said that the goods were enough to last them for two days.

Six out of ten respondents said that they received cash assistance from the government at various periods of the year. The average cash assistance received was PhP3,711. Almost three out of ten (28%) were able to participate in the government’s work for pay program.

Impact assessment

SEDPI provides social safety nets as well as capital to finance nanoenterprise livelihoods. It’s impact assessment for 2021 resulted in positive attribution of the following indicators:

SEDPI helped in…20192021
growing business82%100%
education of children70%85%
improving housing condition67%99%
improving nutrition81%100%
increase in income82%100%

More nanoenterprises felt the assistance of SEDPI in 2021 compared to 2019. The social safety nets such as death benefit and financial assistance for medical, accident, calamity and fire through its damayan system; as well as socially responsible financing that do not accrue interest or impose penalties on capital borrowed in times of calamities – were more pronounced due to the negative effects of the pandemic.

Profile of respondents

For this edition of rapid community assessment there were 1,009 respondents. Most are female (90%), married (72%), and operate their own business or earn wages (89%). Their average age is 40 and are from the provinces of Agusan del Sur, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte and Surigao del Sur.

Nanoenterprises are smaller than microenterprises. These are unregistered livelihoods of self-employed individuals that have capitalization of less than PhP50,000. SEDPI estimates that the vast majority of the entrepreneurial poor in the Philippines are nanoenterprises, at around 8 million.


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