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close this bookNeeds and Characteristics of a Sample of Micro and Small Enterprises in Thailand - Working Paper N5 - Micro and Small Enterprise Development and Poverty Alleviation in Thailand - Project ILO/UNDP: THA/99/003 (ILO-ISEP - ILO - UNDP, 1999, 102 p.)
close this folder4.0 Notes on statistical findings
View the document(introduction...)
View the document4.1 Gender issues for entrepreneurs
View the document4.2 The educational level of entrepreneurs
View the document4.3 The age of entrepreneurs
View the document4.4 The relationship between sales, asset value and number of workers


As described above, this survey was designed to be qualitative for use with small samples. Statistical analysis is not intended or included in the interpretation of the survey results. However, as some of the issues from the survey are quantifiable, there appear to be some indicative trends or norms that could be useful in guiding future studies in this field. The observed trends and norms are discussed in this section, without any reference to their statistical significance since only a small sample was used (104 interviews in total).

4.1 Gender issues for entrepreneurs

The survey found that most of supported and independent microenterprises in both the Bangkok and Phetchaburi surveys are owned and managed by females, while males dominate the small enterprises, as shown in Figures 1 and 2.

As a small enterprise is usually considered a more “formal” or more “serious” business, this may suggest that these “formal” opportunities are more accessible to male entrepreneurs than to female entrepreneurs. In the other words, as microenterprises are typically considered “informal” or “not serious” businesses, the male population might have more opportunities and try to avoid them altogether, preferring instead to engage in other non-enterprises activities. Hence it can be seen that the female entrepreneurs are dominant in the microenterprises. [This can also be as a result of women’s unequal access to important skills, information and resources, such as vocational training, information on markets and technologies, and access to sources of business finance, respectively - Editor’s note.]

4.2 The educational level of entrepreneurs

As shown in Figures 3 and 4, which are plotted in the same manner as Figure 1, the survey found that the majority of the entrepreneurs in the supported microenterprises have only an elementary education. This category would also presumably include those workers who would be vulnerable to being laid off during a time of recession due to financial and economic crisis. Therefore, this type of situation would seem to adequately reflect and justify the government’s policies and programmes and the assistance provided to laid-off workers.

Considering the fact that many of the independent microenterprises and small enterprises are businesses which were established independently without much support from government agencies, this may suggest that “real” business opportunities are more accessible to those people with higher levels of education.

4.3 The age of entrepreneurs

As can be seen from Figures 5 and 6 which are plotted in the same manner as Figure 1, the age of most entrepreneurs is in the range of 30 to 40 years in both the Bangkok and Phetchaburi surveys, with a few in the range of 40 to 50. It was found that very few entrepreneurs are below 30 years of age. This may suggests that Thai entrepreneurs typically start their business after reaching 30 years of age.

4.4 The relationship between sales, asset value and number of workers

The sales of the enterprises interviewed are plotted against asset value and number of workers, as shown in Figures 7 and 8 respectively. The sales, which are plotted on the vertical axis, have to be shown on a logarithmic scale because of the wide variations. Figure 7 gives a slight indication that firms with smaller asset value (less than 1 million Baht) would also have a smaller amount of sales, and firms with larger asset value would have a higher sales figure. The figure also shows that the group of small enterprises seems to be concentrated around sales figures and asset values of around 1 million Baht.

The relationship between sales and number of workers, as shown in Figure 8, shows that the smaller enterprises with 10 or less workers tend to have sales figures of about 100,000 Baht or less, while enterprises with more than 10 workers would have higher sales figure.

The relationship between asset value and number of workers seems to be quite diverse. Although there is a concentration around 10 or less workers and asset values of 1 million or less, firms with a more workers do not clearly possess a higher asset value (as can be seen in Figure 9).

Considering the purpose of this survey, and the fact that only a small sample was used, the discussion above is by no means conclusive. As the nature of the businesses is markedly different between manufacturing, services, and trading enterprises, their characteristics as discussed above should be addressed both separately, as well as collectively.

Therefore, it is recommended that a more comprehensive and detailed study be conducted on these issues, in order to establish an accurate information and knowledge base about Thai entrepreneurs and micro and small-scale enterprises.