Trade and Industry

DEFINITIONS, DATA & METHODOLOGY - Annual Review of Small Business in South Africa 2004

  • Year: 2004
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa

In literature or current economic life, the concept of 'small businesses' often covers different implicit areas of focus. The lack of clarity about what is understood as a small business can affect the reliability of research findings. Not surprisingly, since there are different concepts of businesses, there are also different qualities of data.

Lack of data is particularly acute among unregistered businesses that employ only casual staff or none, are only a minor side occupation of their owner, or operate on an ‘on-and-off’ basis. While in developed countries these cases can be considered as marginal, in South Africa many of these informal and micro enterprises are key to the livelihoods of millions of people.

Generally speaking, the methodology for this Review was defined according to three principles:

  • A multiple data source approach
  • Minimisation of the effect of short-term fluctuations
  • Minimisation of extrapolations.