Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) survey

Partnering for a common purpose

FinScope MSME Lesotho was designed to involve a range of stakeholders engaging in a comprehensive consultative process, thereby enriching the survey and ensuring appropriateness and buyin. The Ministry of Small Business Development, Cooperatives and Marketing (MSCM) is grateful to all individuals who participated in this project, including the steering committee (SC) constituting of Ministry of Finance (deputy-chair), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the Ministry of Development Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Basotho Enterprises Development Corporation (BEDCO), Private Sector Foundation of Lesotho, Lesotho Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FinMark Trust, Bureau of Statistics (BOS) and Africa Scope.


It is widely recognized that MSME sector is a significant contributor to job creation, development and economic growth. Given the crucial role of MSMEs in the national economy it is in the common interest of national governments, the business community or the public at large to harness and optimise on this potential by putting into place strategies to mobilise and enable MSME growth and development. The lack of accurate and reliable information about the sector and the challenges in Lesotho was identified as a challenge during the MAP process. It is in pursuit of this objective that the Lesotho Government initiated the FinScope MSME Survey Lesotho 2016.


The FinScope MSME Survey Lesotho 2016 was conducted with a sample of 2182 adult business owners who were selected at a household level across the country. The sample for the survey was designed by the Bureau of Statistics in Lesotho and had the following characteristic:

  • 18 years and older
  • Perceive themselves to be business owners/ generating an income through business activities
  • Employing ANY number of people (including individual entrepreneurs without any employees)
  • A comprehensive listing exercise of 336 enumeration areas (EAs) that covered over 47 000 households identifying 4 000 MSME owners
  • Data collection was conducted between September 2015 and February 2016
  • Survey objectives

  • To assess the size and scope of micro, small, and medium enterprises in Lesotho
  • To describe the levels and landscape of access to financial products and services (both formal and formal)
  • To identify the most binding constraints to MSMEs development and growth with a focus on access to financial markets
  • To identify and describe different market segments with specific development needs in order to stimulate segment related innovation
  • To propose recommendations regarding financial assistance to MSMEs and financial policies
  • Assist with the development of future policy regarding the MSME sector (including the defining the MSME sector in Lesotho
  • Definition of small businesses

    Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Policy for Lesotho defines MSME on a combination of total employees, including the owner, annual turnover, and whether the business is formal or informal.

    Micro-enterprise – Fewer than 6 staff members
    Small enterprise – 6 to 20 staff members
    Medium enterprise – 21 to 50 staff members

    Translate »