Firm-level surveys have been conducted since 1998 by different units within the World Bank. Since 2005-06, most data collection efforts have been centralized within the Enterprise Analysis Unit. Earlier data from different survey instruments have been matched to an older standard instrument for dissemination on the website.
The Enterprise Surveys, implemented in Eastern Europe and Central Asia countries, also known as Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Surveys (BEEPS), are jointly conducted by the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development for this geographic region. The objective of the research is to gain an understanding of firms' perception of the environment in which they operate. The surveys were until now administered four times at an interval of three years. This has added an important element of dynamics in the study of business environment in transition countries.
This research was conducted in Bulgaria between November 2012 and October 2013, as part of the fifth round of the Business Environment and Enterprise Performance Survey. The objective of the study is to obtain feedback from enterprises in client countries on the state of the private sector. The research is also used to build a panel of enterprise data that will make it possible to track changes in the business environment over time, thus allowing, for example, impact assessments of reforms. Through face-to-face interviews with firms in the manufacturing and services sectors, the survey assesses the constraints to private sector growth and creates statistically significant business environment indicators that are comparable across countries.
In Bulgaria, data from 293 establishments was analyzed. Stratified random sampling was used to select the surveyed businesses.
The survey topics include firm characteristics, information about sales and suppliers, competition, infrastructure services, judiciary and law enforcement collaboration, security, government policies, laws and regulations, financing, overall business environment, bribery, capacity utilization, performance and investment activities, and workforce composition.
In 2011, the innovation module was added to the standard set of Enterprise Surveys questionnaires to examine in detail how introduction of new products and practices influence firms' performance and management.
Kind of Data
Sample survey data [ssd]
Unit of Analysis
The primary sampling unit of the study is the establishment. An establishment is a physical location where business is carried out and where industrial operations take place or services are provided. A firm may be composed of one or more establishments. For example, a brewery may have several bottling plants and several establishments for distribution. For the purposes of this survey an establishment must make its own financial decisions and have its own financial statements separate from those of the firm. An establishment must also have its own management and control over its payroll.
- v02 (May 2014). The latest update of the dataset was made to further protect confidentiality of the information by removing certain string variables. In addition, some improvements were made in the innovation section.
- The previous version, v01, was published in April 2014.
The scope of the study includes:
- Characteristics of establishment;
- Infrastructure and services;
- Sales and supplies;
- Degree of competition;
- Land and permits;
- Business-government relations;
- Use of consulting services;
- Business environment;
- Perceptions of obstacles.
Regions covered are selected based on the number of establishments, contribution to employment, and value added. In most cases these regions are metropolitan areas and reflect the largest centers of economic activity in a country.
The manufacturing and services sectors are the primary business sectors of interest. This corresponds to firms classified with International Standard Industrial Classification of All Economic Activities (ISIC) codes 15-37, 45, 50-52, 55, 60-64, and 72 (ISIC Rev.3.1). Formal (registered) companies with five or more employees are targeted for interview. Services firms include construction, retail, wholesale, hotels, restaurants, transport, storage, communications, and IT. Firms with 100% government/state ownership are not eligible to participate in Enterprise Surveys.
Producers and sponsors
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The sample was selected using stratified random sampling technique. Three levels of stratification were used: industry, establishment size, and region.
Industry was stratified into one manufacturing and two service sectors (retail, and other services).
Size stratification was defined following the standardized definition for the roll-out: small (5 to 19 employees), medium (20 to 99 employees), and large (more than 99 employees). For stratification purposes, the number of employees was defined on the basis of reported permanent full-time workers. This seems to be an appropriate definition of the labor force since seasonal/casual/part-time employment is not a common practice, except in the sectors of construction and agriculture.
Regional stratification was defined in 6 regions (city and the surrounding business area) throughout Bulgaria.
Given the stratified design, sample frames containing a complete and updated list of establishments for the selected regions were required. Great efforts were made to obtain the best source for these listings. However, the quality of the sample frames was not optimal and, therefore, some adjustments were needed to correct for the presence of ineligible units. These adjustments are reflected in the weights computation.
The sample frame used for the survey in Bulgaria was from APIS. The enumerated establishments were then used as the frame for the selection of a sample with the aim of obtaining interviews at 270 establishments with five or more employees.
Given the impact that non-eligible units included in the sample universe may have on the results, adjustments may be needed when computing the appropriate weights for individual observations. The percentage of confirmed non-eligible units as a proportion of the total number of sampled establishments contacted for the survey was 11.6% (115 out of 990 establishments).
In the dataset, the variables a2 (sampling region), a6a (sampling establishment's size), and a4a (sampling sector) contain the establishment's classification into the strata chosen for each country using information from the sample frame. Variable a4a coded using ISIC Rev 3.1 codes for the chosen industries for stratification. These codes include most manufacturing industries (15 to 37), retail (52), and (45, 50, 51, 55, 60-64, 72) for other services.
Survey non-response must be differentiated from item non-response. The former refers to refusals to participate in the survey altogether, while the latter refers to the refusals to answer some specific questions. Enterprise Surveys suffer from both problems and different strategies were used to address these issues.
Item non-response was addressed by two strategies:
a- For sensitive questions that may generate negative reactions from the respondent, such as corruption or tax evasion, enumerators were instructed to collect the refusal to respond as a different option from don't know.
b- Establishments with incomplete information were re-contacted in order to complete this information, whenever necessary.
Survey non-response was addressed by maximizing efforts to contact establishments that were initially selected for interview. Attempts were made to contact the establishment for interview at different times/days of the week before a replacement establishment (with similar strata characteristics) was suggested for interview. Survey non-response did occur but substitutions were made in order to potentially achieve strata-specific goals.
The number of realized interviews per contacted establishments was 0.27. This number is the result of two factors: explicit refusals to participate in the survey, as reflected by the rate of rejection (which includes rejections of the screener and the main survey) and the quality of the sample frame, as represented by the presence of ineligible units. The number of rejections per contact was 0.39.
For some units it was impossible to determine eligibility because the contact was not successfully completed. Consequently, different assumptions as to their eligibility result in different universe cells' adjustments and in different sampling weights. Three sets of assumptions were considered:
a- Strict assumption: eligible establishments are only those for which it was possible to directly determine eligibility. The resulting weights are included in the variable wstrict.
b- Median assumption: eligible establishments are those for which it was possible to directly determine eligibility and those that rejected the screener questionnaire or an answering machine or fax was the only response. The resulting weights are included in the variable wmedian. Median weights are used for computing indicators on the www.enterprisesurveys.org website.
c- Weak assumption: in addition to the establishments included in points a and b, all establishments for which it was not possible to finalize a contact are assumed eligible. This includes establishments with dead or out of service phone lines, establishments that never answered the phone, and establishments with incorrect addresses for which it was impossible to find a new address. The resulting weights are included in the variable wweak. Note that under the weak assumption only observed non-eligible units are excluded from universe projections.
Dates of Data Collection
Data Collection Mode
Data Collection Notes
Private contractors conduct the Enterprise Surveys on behalf of the World Bank. Due to sensitive survey questions addressing business-government relations and corruption-related topics, private contractors are preferred over any government agency or an organization associated with government, and are hired by the World Bank to collect the data.
The Enterprise Surveys are implemented following a two-stage procedure. In the first stage, a screener questionnaire is applied over the phone to determine eligibility and to make appointments; in the second stage, a face-to-face interview takes place with the Manager/Owner/Director of each establishment. Sometimes the survey respondent calls company accountants and human resource managers into the interview to answer questions in the sales and labor sections of the survey.
All Enterprise Surveys are conducted in the local languages.
IPSOS was hired to implement the Bulgaria 2013 Enterprise Survey. There were local subcontractors in each of the six regions surveyed.
The structure of the data base reflects the fact that three different versions of the questionnaire were used. The basic questionnaire, the Core Module, includes all common questions asked to all establishments from all sectors. The second expanded variation, the Manufacturing Questionnaire, is built upon the Core Module and adds some specific questions relevant to manufacturing sectors. The third expanded variation, the Retail Questionnaire, is also built upon the Core Module and adds to the core specific questions relevant to retail firms. Each variation of the questionnaire is identified by the index variable, a0.
Data entry and quality controls are implemented by the contractor and data is delivered to the World Bank in batches (typically 10%, 50% and 100%). These data deliveries are checked for logical consistency, out of range values, skip patterns, and duplicate entries. Problems are flagged by the World Bank and corrected by the implementing contractor through data checks, callbacks, and revisiting establishments.
Confidentiality of the survey respondents and the sensitive information they provide is necessary to ensure the greatest degree of survey participation, integrity and confidence in the quality of the data. Surveys are usually carried out in cooperation with business organizations and government agencies promoting job creation and economic growth, but confidentiality is never compromised.
The use of this dataset must be acknowledged using a citation which would include:
- the identification of the Primary Investigator (including country name)
- the full title of the survey and its acronym (when available), and the year(s) of implementation
- the survey reference number
- the source and date of download (for datasets disseminated online)
The World Bank, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Bulgaria Enterprise Survey (ES) 2013, Ref. BGR_2013_ES_v02_M. Dataset downloaded from [URL] on [date].
Disclaimer and copyrights
The user of the data acknowledges that the original collector of the data, the authorized distributor of the data, and the relevant funding agency bear no responsibility for use of the data or for interpretations or inferences based upon such uses.
DDI Document ID
Development Data Group
Date of Metadata Production
DDI Document version
- Version 02 (May 2014). Changes were made in the dataset.
- Version 01 (April 2014)