Partners: USAID, DAI
There are over 63 million MSMEs in India, 99% of which are microenterprises. Over 80% of those microenterprises do not employ any workers and nearly 70% of enterprises are not registered with any statutory office, thus being invisible from the public domain. In contrast, the tremendous spate of digitalization over the last decade or so, including increasing smartphone penetration, UPI adoption, e-commerce, and emergence of the platform economy offers tremendous growth opportunities for this segment. A full-stack digital adoption by MSMEs in India can unlock higher growth for enterprises and pave the way for more inclusive economic development. USAID and DAI through their South Asia Regional Digital Initiative (SARDI) have launched a fellowship program in India to conduct policy research at the interface of digitalization and MSMEs in India and facilitate sustainable change in the policy ecosystem.
The fellowship program is anchored by LEAD at Krea University, a research centre of IFMR Society. LEAD has instituted the fellowships at three reputed partner organizations, each hosting a research fellow.
LEAD, in collaboration with USAID and DAI, organised a half-day learning convening to present key insights from the fellowships portfolio and seek feedback from experts on the way forward. The event also served as a platform for convening key stakeholders engaged in the MSME and digitisation ecosystems and exploring pathways for creating feedback loops between research and policy.