LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENT OF MICRO-MERCHANTS IN BANGLADESH

This data-portal represents the first comprehensive data-set about Micro-merchants in Bangladesh engaged in the retail sector, particularly in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) operating mostly in rural areas. The data set offers insights about: demographics; business operations; capacity development needs; financial accounting practices; financial services access and use; behaviour with suppliers; use of mobile financial services and merchant accounts; and membership in associations. This study covered both urban and rural areas, excluding metropolitan and divisional towns. The sample was drawn at the neighborhood (Mohallah or community) level in urban areas and at village level in rural areas. The urban to rural ratio of the sample distribution was 25:75. The researchers used both Stratified Random Sampling (SRS) technique and the snowball sampling to identify and interview 2,100 respondents. This data set reflects the reality of retail Micro-merchants engaged in FMCG in 2018.

98.5%

Male

1.5%

Female

Gender split

61.2%

of Micro-merchants
belong to

Generation Y (21-40 Years)

10.9%

of Micro-merchants

Have no formal education

43.3%

of Micro-merchants

Own bank account

50.7%

of Micro-merchants
having bank account

Used it 90 days ago

27.7%

of Micro-merchants
having bank account

Use it for saving money

0.2%

of Micro-merchants

Purchased a business insurance

30%

of Micro-merchants

Own smartphone

250MB

Mobile

30BDT

BroadBand

Median weekly internet consumption

50BDT

Feature Phone

80BDT

Smartphone

Median weekly airtime consumption

23.4%

of Micro-merchants

Have access to internet

73%

of Micro-merchants

Regularly sell on credit

59.4%

of Micro-merchants

Currently maintain a loan

100%

of Micro-merchants

Reinvest daily cash residuals

64.8%

of Micro-merchants

Procure on credit

22.3%

of Micro-merchants

Record transactions daily

15%

of Micro-merchants

Keep personal & business records separate

29.6%

of Micro-merchants

Own an DFS account

5.6%

of Micro-merchants

Use DFS for making payments to suppliers

0%

of Micro-merchants

Have merchant accounts

47%

of Micro-merchants
having DFS account cited

'Fast Transaction' as the most likeable aspect of DFS

26.5%

of Micro-merchants cited

'High Service Charge' as the least likeable aspect of DFS

65.6%

of Micro-merchants

Have trade license

90,000BDT

Median monthly sales

60%

of Micro-merchants cited

'Cigarette' as mostly sold item

29.7%

of Micro-merchants cited

Are shop owners

1.5%

of Micro-merchants

Are women

64.5%

of women Micro-merchants

Generation Y (21-40 Years)

29.0%

of women Micro-merchants

Have no formal education
Decision Dynamics: How are intra-household decisions made?

Data Stories

Data storytelling is a very powerful way of convincingly putting across the key messages from a data set. While self-service exploration of insights through an interactive interface grants users the freedom to seek their answers out in their own ways, storytelling zooms in on interesting research questions and hypotheses. The idea is to help visitors find statistically valid answers to the most useful questions from one or more data sets made available on the platform. Join the discussions under each story and send us yours at programs@dnet.org.bd

New Research on $18 Billion Bangladesh Micro-merchant Trade

Micro-merchant research into action series

While individually their businesses are small, together micro-merchants transact more than $18.42 billion annually and interact with millions of customers every day. Yet they are an underserved cash-based group largely left out of modern digital payments and other financial services.

More than 1.3 million micro-merchants operate in Bangladesh and almost 50,000 people enter the area each year. Who are they? How do they manage money and businesses? Are they digitally connected? Can these entrepreneurs play a role in social and economic growth that includes women? UNCDF initiated a review of micro-merchants through SHIFT SAARC, the Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations programme for the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation countries.

The UNCDF review aims to support micro-merchants to earn a better living and raise awareness of a commercial opportunity in financial services and Fast Moving Consumer Goods. A key conclusion is the importance of digitization, credit and banking to suit their needs.

Read more

Women Micro-Merchants in Bangladesh: Can digital tech break barriers?

When more women work, the economy grows

One way to involve women in economic activity is through entrepreneurship. Women-owned businesses can make a key contribution to household incomes and economic growth, as women generally invest a higher proportion of their earnings in their families and communities than men. The social benefits of women’s involvement in economic activity are also immense: women who become entrepreneurs in Bangladesh were found likely to have fewer children than the national average, indicating they are more aware and open to family planning. Despite transformational benefits, women’s presence in the entrepreneurship space remains low:

Of the almost 8 million businesses in Bangladesh, 99.93 percent are cottage or micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) – and a mere 7.2 percent of businesses are owned by women, according to a 2016 study by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The study also found that women are perceived as having very little presence in most industries, particularly in wholesale and retail trade (excluding textiles), even among women who own a business.

Read more

Poor micro-merchants face steep barriers, but want to grow

Poor micro-merchants face steep barriers, but want to grow

This blog post highlights new findings of qualitative behaviour research with micro-merchants in four of the poorest districts in Bangladesh (Jamalpur, Sirajgonj, Sherpur and Tangail).

The research was carried out by Dnet as part of the SHIFT SAARC project “Merchants Development Driving Rural Markets” and complements the landscape assessment’s district breakdown.

Read more