An Enterprise Survey is a firm-level survey of a representative sample of an economy's private sector. Firm-level surveys have been conducted since 2002 by different units within the World Bank. Since 2005-06, most data collection efforts have been centralized within the Enterprise Analysis Unit. Data is used to create indicators that benchmark the quality of the business and investment climate across countries.
The study was conducted between February and March 2007. Data from 619 establishments in private manufacturing and services sectors were analyzed.
The objective of the survey is to obtain feedback from enterprises in client countries on the state of the private sector as well as to help in building 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 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.
The standard Enterprise Survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, crime, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, and performance measures. Over 90% of the questions objectively ascertain characteristics of a country’s business environment. The remaining questions assess the survey respondents’ opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance. The mode of data collection is face-to-face interviews.
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.
The whole population, or the universe, covered in the Enterprise Surveys is the non-agricultural economy. It comprises: all manufacturing sectors according to the ISIC Revision 3.1 group classification (group D), construction sector (group F), services sector (groups G and H), and transport, storage, and communications sector (group I). Note that this population definition excludes the following sectors: financial intermediation (group J), real estate and renting activities (group K, except sub-sector 72, IT, which was added to the population under study), and all public or utilities sectors.
Producers and sponsors
The Mali Enterprise Survey 2007 included enterprises with more than four employees as well as micro establishments, firms with less than five workers. There are 129 micro establishments in the sample.
The sample for countries participating in Enterprise Surveys is stratified by industry, firm size, and geographic region.
For stratification by industry, the main manufacturing sectors in each country in terms of value added, number of firms, and contribution to employment are selected. The retail trade sector is also included in all countries as a representative of the services sector, and depending on the size of the economy, the information technology (IT) sector is included. The rest of the universe is included in a residual stratum.
Size stratification is defined the following way: small establishments (5 to 19 employees), medium establishments (20 to 99 employees), and large establishments (more than 99 employees).
Regional stratification includes the main economic regions in each country.
Through this methodology estimates for the different stratification levels can be calculated on a separate basis while at the same time inferences can be made for the economy as a whole, weighting individual observations by corresponding sample weights. Sample sizes for each stratification level are defined ensuring a minimum precision level of 7.5% with 95% confidence intervals for estimates with population proportions.
For more technical details on the sampling strategy, please review "Sampling Methodology" in "Technical Documents" folder.
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/institution associated with government, and are hired by the World Bank to collect the data.
The Enterprise Surveys are usually 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.
The current survey instruments are available:
- Core Questionnaire + Manufacturing Module [ISIC Rev.3.1: 15-37]
- Core Questionnaire + Retail Module [ISIC Rev.3.1: 52]
- Core Questionnaire [ISIC Rev.3.1: 45, 50, 51, 55, 60-64, 72]
- Micro Establishments Questionnaire (for establishments with 1 to 4 employees)
- Combined Questionnaire.
The “Core Questionnaire” is the heart of the Enterprise Survey and contains the survey questions asked of all firms across the world. There are also two other survey instruments - the “Core Questionnaire + Manufacturing Module” and the “Core Questionnaire + Retail Module.” The survey is fielded via three instruments in order to not ask questions that are irrelevant to specific types of firms, e.g. a question that relates to production and nonproduction workers should not be asked of a retail firm. In addition to questions that are asked across countries, all surveys are customized and contain country-specific questions. An example of customization would be including tourism-related questions that are asked in certain countries when tourism is an existing or potential sector of economic growth.
The survey topics include firm characteristics, gender participation, access to finance, annual sales, costs of inputs/labor, workforce composition, bribery, licensing, infrastructure, trade, crime, competition, capacity utilization, land and permits, taxation, informality, business-government relations, innovation and technology, registration, and performance measures. The questionnaire also assesses the survey respondents' opinions on what are the obstacles to firm growth and performance.
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.
Aggregate indicators based on Enterprise Survey data are available to the public at https://www.enterprisesurveys.org
Firm-level data is also available to the public free-of-charge. In order to access the firm-level data, users must agree to abide by a strict confidentiality agreement available through Enterprise Analysis Unit website by clicking on "External users register here" at https://www.enterprisesurveys.org/Portal
Where necessary please site the source as "Enterprise Analysis Unit - World Bank Group https://www.enterprisesurveys.org"
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.