|Needs and Characteristics of a Sample of Micro and Small Enterprises in Thailand - Working Paper N°5 - Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Poverty Alleviation in Thailand - Project ILO/UNDP: THA/99/003 (ILO-ISEP - ILO - UNDP, 1999, 102 p.)|
|3.0 Characteristics, problems and needs of Thai MSEs|
In order to overcome these problems, proper financial and business development services (BDS) and improved access to these services should be made available to the micro and small enterprises (MSEs). In particular, the services needed by the MSEs can be summarized as shown below:
· Non-collateral credit or non-loan financing scheme, particularly for start-up and for expansion;
· Marketing and networking assistance, especially for markets outside of the enterprises immediate surrounding area;
· Training focusing on simple accounting and financial management, including budgeting;
· Advisory and information services on technology management, taxes, laws and regulations, market opportunities, and product development;
· Access to skilled workers, as well as to skills development for existing workers;
· Training in business concepts, business environment and business planning;
· Training in entrepreneurship development and opportunity identification.
As can be expected, the findings from the survey as described above are not totally unique. Although its target groups were quite different, the 1997 survey of Small and Medium Industry commissioned by the Department of Industrial Promotion (DIP) drew quite similar conclusions about the problems facing the enterprises, including5:
· The lack of technical and managerial capabilities;
· The lack of access to wider markets;
· The lack of access to finance;
· The lack of skilled workers and skills development;
· The lack of access to information vital to business.
5 Advanced Research Group Co., Ltd., Report on the Survey of Small and Madium Industry (SMI) submitted to DIP August, 1997; and Manu Leopairote, Role of SMEs in Reviving after the Economic Crisis.
In addition, a study report was conducted in 1996 with funding from ILO, as part of the Rural Income Opportunities Programme (during the Investigation and Planning Phase). This involved microenterprises created in the rural areas within the assistance program of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives. The studys findings were quite similar, and showed that the needs for support services to these microenterprises were6:
· group formation and organization;
· business ideas and technology transfer;
· business management training and advisory services;
· marketing assistance;
· access to capital; and
· a coordinating referral mechanism for access to additional expertise.
6 David Lamotte and Maitree Wasuntiwongse, Report of the Investigation and Planning Phase, Rural Income Opportunities Programme THA/93/002, March 1996.
Thus, it can be concluded from the results of this particular ILO/UNDP survey that the characteristics, problems and needs of Thailands urban-based micro and small enterprises (MSEs) appear to conform with previous information and knowledge relating to the small enterprise sector. Consequently, it can be confirmed that past experiences and best practices which had been suggested earlier for MSE development are still highly relevant and applicable.