The FinScope survey was developed by FinMark Trust and was first piloted in 2002 in South Africa. The survey was conducted in many other countries with the main objective to measure and profile the levels of access to and uptake of financial products/services (both formal and informal) in a particular country, across income ranges and other demographics. There are two types of FinScope surveys: FinScope Consumer and FinScope MSME. Both studies are nationally representative surveys of how individual people or “small business” owners source their income and how they manage their financial lives. While FinScope Consumer focuses on adults in a particular country, FinScope MSME looks at owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as individual entrepreneurs. FinScope assists in establishing credible benchmarks and indicators of financial inclusion, while at the same time providing insights into market obstacles to growth and highlighting opportunities for policy reform and innovation in product development and delivery. FinScope findings can therefore be of value both to policymakers who wish to develop policies aimed at improving the functioning of financial markets, and to private service providers who are able to design product strategies around the segmentation and trends highlighted by the data, and to donors and non-governmental agencies who wish to support increased financial inclusion to specific regions or population groups. To date, FinScope Consumer surveys have been conducted in 26 countries (13 in SADC, 6 non-SADC Africa and 7 in Asia), while FinScope MSME surveys have been implemented in 7 SADC countries (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, Lesotho).

  • FinScope consumer surveys are nationally representative surveys of how individual people source their income and how they manage their financial lives and focuses on adults in a particular country. FinScope Consumer surveys have been conducted in 26 countries (13 in the SADC region, 6 non-SADC region and 7 in Asia).

    For more information about the FinScope consumer surveys, please email Dr Kingstone Mutsonziwa at kingstonem@finmark.org.za. Together we can make financial markets work for the poor by advocating for change on the basis of the research findings.

  • FinScope SME surveys are nationally representative surveys of how small business owners source their income and how they manage their financial lives. The survey looks at owners of micro, small, and medium enterprises, as well as individual entrepreneurs.

    In order to develop effective interventions for the small business sector, it is important to have a comprehensive understanding of the sector; the specific challenges faced by small business owners, and the capacity they have to deal with these challenges. Any development or intervention strategy should, however, take into account that a “one size fits all” approach will not be effective. Interventions should be targeted and evidence-based. Availability of reliable and accurate information with regards to the specific needs of specific segments of the small business sector is therefore a key guide to the development of an intervention strategy.

    In recognising this, FinMark Trust developed the FinScope Small Business Survey. The survey is a comprehensive, nationally representative survey with the following objectives:

    • to describe the size and scope of the small business sector;
    • to segment the small business sector into homogeneous market segments, with the intention of identifying the development and financial needs of the different market segments in order to stimulate