Project Everest

[Experiment Results]: Problem/Customer Segment for Micro-Enterprises July 2019

Lean Phase: Problem

Link to original experiment:

Original Assumption: 

Micro-enterprises in Fiji identify a lack of access to financial management and budgeting resources in enabling their businesses to grow, diversify, or run as they please.


Results Spreadsheet:

Key Data Statistics:



Our goal was to interview 60 small to medium enterprises, 30 inland and 30 coastal. Overall, we interviewed 31 inland SME’s and 33 coastal. 


Industries we interviewed:

  • Tourism
  • Retail
  • Agriculture

Do they have problems from the absence of adequate financial management?

52.4% of businesses interviewed agreed that they had problems from an absence of adequate financial management.


What were the key trends that were identified regarding the customer segment?

After collating the data, numerous trends have been identified regarding the customer segment. The demographics that struggled the most regarding budgeting and loan requirements, include:

  • Inland
  • Ages 51+ and 18-30
  • Tourism and Agriculture



18.2% of businesses on the coast do not know what budgeting is

54.5% of businesses on the coast have some idea on what budgeting is

15.2% of businesses on the coast have a good idea on what budgeting is

12.1% of businesses on the coast know exactly what budgeting is



33.3% of businesses inland do not know what budgeting is

63.3% of businesses inland have some idea on what budgeting is

3.3% of businesses inland have a good idea on what budgeting is

0% of businesses inland know exactly what budgeting is


Based on this information, and what businesses on the coast have explained, coastal businesses appear to be more educated in budgeting and documentation due to the various workshops provided by and at neighbouring hotels. 




The age group of 31-50 appear to be the most educated in regards to budgeting, as 75% of people between this age bracket had some idea of what budgeting is, with 15% having a good idea on budgeting and 10% knowing exactly what budgeting is. 


This could potentially be attributed to more experience, and they are more likely to be the group who has attended budgeting workshops in the past. Those within the younger age bracket are more likely to have inherited their business from their parents, thus unless their parents have been educated in documentation, they are less likely to have learned this from them. 




Tourism and Agriculture seem to be the least educated in regards to budgeting, as 46.2% and 35.3% of businesses respectively do not know what budgeting is. Furthermore, collectively 81.8% of businesses in retail have some idea, or a good idea of what budgeting is, compared to 64.7% in agriculture, and 38.5% in tourism.


How difficult do businesses find budgeting and financial management? 

55.6% of businesses interviewed had some idea, but not a complete understanding in regards to budgeting and financial management

38.1% of businesses interviewed found budgeting and financial management difficult

6.3% of businesses interviewed found budgeting and financial management easy


What were the specific issues that small-medium business owners have in regards to financial management?

In regards to business owner’s perception of financial management, 37% believed that the process was too difficult, and 37% believed that having financial management wasn’t needed. 


This ensures that a solution to assist financial management needs to be simple, taught well, and we need to ensure that businesses understand that without documentation and budgeting, they may struggle to acquire a loan in the future.


How well did SME’s understand loan requirements?

28% of businesses did not understand loan requirements

56% of businesses have a basic idea of loan requirements

13% of businesses have a good idea of loan requirements

3% of businesses know exactly what they need for a loan


Would they find value in a solution to help them with their financial management?


62.9% of businesses said that they would find value in a solution that would assist them with their financial management.




Overall, these results gave us a green light for our original assumptions, as a majority of micro-enterprises identified that they had a lack of access to financial management, which contributes to a lack of access to financial capital. This has restricted them from growing and diversifying their business. 


We have also validated that this is an issue that businesses do want assistance with, and we have identified that 52.4% of businesses are early adopters. This means that SoCon can now progress into creating an MVP and UVP.


It was interesting to note that coastal businesses were generally more educated with loans and budgeting than inland businesses, which correlates with understanding of financial management and budgeting along with the number of previous loans. 




The green light ensures that our next move is to develop a UVP to propose to customers and banks, which could assist businesses in improving their financial management.


Through collaborating with SoCon 2, we will be able to establish an MVP, which will be offered to villages around Fiji, both coastal and inland. Should currency testing be successful, we would be able to establish a solution that then can be offered to microenterprises in December.


edited on 19th July 2019, 04:07 by Yayna Lee
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