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The Performance of Small Businesses in St. Petersburg: Data From a Questionnaire

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The dearth of reliable data makes field work essential to gain a more accurate picture on small business in today's Russia.1 Interviewing representatives of organizations instead of individual entrepreneurs provides a more balanced picture, as entrepreneurs may be reluctant to divulge information about their firm. Although the firms these organizations work with are not fully representative of the small business population in St. Petersburg the results do not differ substantially from surveys previously conducted in the city. Therefore, these data can provide some useful insights on small business in St. Petersburg. Data collected suggest that new firms are mostly profitable and expanding production. The fact that half of the firms have as their main competitor another small firm testifies to the greater adaptability and flexibility of new firms compared with larger ones. The sales of these firms tend, however, to be concentrated in the domestic market with a negligible export component similarly to what was observed in surveys conducted in other parts of Russia. Keywords: small business, Russia, entrepreneurship, St. Petersburg

Affiliations: 1: Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK


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