Closer look into retail micro-merchants living in the poorest districts of Bangladesh

  • December 20, 2018

  • Publications, guides and communication materials


In 2017/18 the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) undertook the first comprehensive review of micro-merchants in Bangladesh engaged in the retail sector, particularly in Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) operating mostly in rural areas.

This presentation provides an overview of key research findings from the Landscape Assessment of Retail Micro-Merchants in Bangladesh, with a closer look into the districts of Jamalpur, Sherpur, Sirajganj and Tangail. The four districts are the focus of the UNCDF SHIFT programme in Bangladesh, “Merchants’ Development Driving Rural Markets”, which is funded by the European Union under Poverty Reduction through Inclusive and Sustainable Markets (PRISM).

The findings show that across Bangladesh, micro-merchants are very similar in terms of age, business size and years in business. Compared with the national average, the micro-merchants in these four districts operate in a setting where poverty rates are higher; most of their businesses are smaller in sales and inventory, and they are just a little bit younger.

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