Here are 3 surprising facts about doing business in fragile environments


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It’s a secret to no one that getting things done in fragile and conflict-affected (FCS) situations is more difficult than in normal, peaceful environments.

A recent World Bank report “The Small Entrepreneur in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations” looked into the motives and challenges of small entrepreneurs in FCS countries and made a number of interesting discoveries. They found that compared to entrepreneurs elsewhere, entrepreneurs in FCS have different characteristics and face significantly different challenges. FCS enterprises tend to be small, informal and to be engaged in sectors that are trade and service oriented.

Three other things they found are illustrated in the charts below. These findings came as quite a surprise to us. 

1. The primary obstacle for entrepreneurs in FCS countries is poor access to finance  


2. Mobile communications thrive in even most difficult FCS environments 

3. FCS firms in Asia have no needs for loans 


Join the Conversation

L. F. Morgado
January 05, 2016

For point 1, does the chart describe the challenges for FCS or non-FCS firms?

Alua Kennedy
January 05, 2016

Yes, the chart should describe the challenges for the FCS firms. Thank you for pointing that out, we added the right chart.

Peter T. Heal
January 05, 2016

This is a major problem for SMEs in Ethiopia. The lack of Forex stifles expansion for these companies. Very often it takes many weeks just to be grante3d a small amount e.g.US$7,000.00. However if you are an exporter of coffee/flowers/textiles/leather etc then it is very much easier to access Forex for imports.

January 05, 2016

I like this article summarizing why poor countries pain to take off!
WB program I guess are supporting such bottleneck my question is do we have sufficient power to conduct plan?

Shrestha S.M.
January 13, 2016

In FCS corruption becomes a integral part of it whether you have to accept it or not! So you must add some factor for it in your graph,