Market Assessment

ILO Cambodia 2000

    The study was a quantitative survey of 300 micro and small enterprises with less than 20 workers in Phnom Penh and rural areas of Cambodia. The survey used a modified Usage, Attitude, Image Market Study format to investigate SEs' awareness, understanding, usage and opinions about a wide range of business services. The aim of the study was to get a basic understanding of the demand for business services from SEs, a picture of supply from the consumer perspective and some indications about opportunities for BDS market expansion. The cost for the local research was US$5,181; the cost for international consultants was approximately US$3,500.

    Methods for info gathering
    SE Survey, UAI Survey, Key Informant Interviews, Quantitative

    Summary of results
    The study revealed very weak markets for business services, where market penetration was less than 2% for most services with the exceptions of telecommunications, product transport, advertising and sales on commission. Both demand and supply appeared weak. The awareness level of many services was low and SEs did not appear to put great importance on business services. Satisfaction with those services used was moderate or low indicating weak supply. Information on business services was almost exclusively by word of mouth. The study found that those markets with the most promise for expansion were, to a large extent, those with the highest market penetration such as telecommunications, advertising and sales on commission. However, Internet access and domestic business tours also showed some promise. The ILO data can be disaggregated by the sex of the respondent.

    Following the study, the ILO launched a television programme in Cambodia, aimed at micro and small-scale enterprises. TV ownership in Cambodia is surprisingly high, and access to TV is even higher, so potential outreach was very good. In practice, however, the partner station did not have national coverage with its transmitters. Furthermore, the producers of the programme were nervous about triggering adverse responses from the authorities, when covering issues and topics which might be considered controversial.

    The result was that the programme tended to be relatively bland, focusing primarily on profiles and case studies of successful small enterprises around the country. Furthermore, small enterprises featuring on the programme often received visits from the tax inspectors immediately following their appearance. The ILO has therefore moved to experiment with other formats, which may achieve better national coverage while exciting less interest from the authorities.

    At the time of writing, this takes the form of VCD multi-media materials, primarily in an entertainment format, which will be distributed through the channels currently used for karaoke videos and films. These distribution channels are surprisingly sophisticated and cover almost the entire country.

    The choice of intervention was based partly on the availability and interest of suitable individuals; because of historical events, there has been a significant shortage of mid-career professionals in Cambodia.

    Associated Activities and Documents
    »TV programmes in Cambodia, ILO 2001