Local Small and Medium Enterprises in Less Developed Countries: Where Multitasking Researchers and Non-Traditional Research Approaches Are Required

Dung Tran Ngoc and Thong Tuong Tuan
FTA Marketing Research, Vietnam

IMPORTANCE OF LOCAL SME SEGMENT TO RESEARCH AGENCIES IN LESS DEVELOPED COUNTRIES

In less developed countries, SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises, withless than 300 employees) account for a significant proportion of national wealth and growth. In Vietnam, a typical developing and emerging country, the number of SMEs is reaching 400,000. They represent 99% of the number of businesses of the country, employ 77% of the workforce and account for 80% of the retail market (Source: VN economy).

SMEs have consistently been the source of growth in Vietnam; on average, their profits grow about 20% each year. Therefore, SMEs in Vietnam receive great attention from the Vietnamese government as well as NGOs in their initiatives to improve their competitiveness. Organizations such as VCCI (Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry), World Bank, and ADB (Asian Development Bank) have implemented a variety of programs supporting SMEs in improving working skills for their employees and business management skills for leaders.