Corner shops that sell daily provisions/medicine/airtime and often provides CICO services/salon services etc., are micro enterprises at the intersection of two distinct vulnerable segments: the supply chains of essential goods and low- and middle-income (LMI) people. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected many of these corner shops severely. Yet, we see that some of these corner shops managed to be the lifelines for the neighborhood as the only source of supply of daily provisions during lockdown times.
Tracking daily financial transactions of such corner shop owners can provide important insights on how the owners of micro businesses manage their finances- both at household level and at business level. Interaction with corner shop owners can also generate important insights on use of digital finance by micro businesses and LMI segments, how demand of various daily use items has changed during the COVID-19 period, how micro businesses managed their businesses during the pandemic etc.
MSC and L-IFT has joined forces to track the life of corner shop owners in different countries of Asia and Africa in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to generate data insights for policy makers and financial service providers. We are collecting data from 100+ corner shops across Uganda, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Senegal, India, Indonesia, and Bangladesh. We are using three distinct research methodologies in this project:

  1. Financial Diaries method to track daily financial transactions of business and household
  2. High frequency micro-surveys
  3. In-depth qualitative interviews of corner shop owners.

We are using the Finbit platform (developed by L-IFT) for data entry for daily diaries and micro-surveys.


We have started a new page to provide information on how the CORNER SHOP project is being experienced by our diarists


Blogs for FINBIT Corner Shop Project

Driven by L-IFT and MSC

Corner Shop Project is an ongoing research

Data from six countries

Financial transactions of small shops

Through the COVID-19 crisis


Podcast: Episode 4 – FINBIT


In L-IFT podcast #4, Andrew Magunda, L-IFT’s country manager in Uganda, is interviewing Haimanot Yibeltal, L-IFT’s technology manager, about Finbit, L-IFT’s app he developed with his excellent IT team in Ethiopia in order to collect financial data.  READ MORE



For more than five years L-IFT has been active on financial diaries studies. In the process of this research we came to understand that potentially the data from financial diaries can serve many... READ MORE