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Zambia Business Survey – An Analysis of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

September 24, 2010

LUSAKA, September 24, 2010—Past analysis of Zambia’s business environment has shown that private sector competitiveness has been hampered by focusing on large formal-sector enterprises.

While studies have yielded important insights, it is important to note that 80 percent of private sector business in Zambia is conducted by enterprises with fewer than 50 employees. Most of these firms are small informal operations, with less than five employees.

These firms constitute the bulk of private sector employment in Zambia, employing 73 percent of total labor. However, little is known about how these firms perform and the constraints under which they operate, rendering it difficult for policy makers, businesses and donors to design policies, services and programs to help improve their performance.

The Zambia Business Survey (ZBS) was designed to bridge this knowledge gap; it is the first comprehensive, nationally representative survey of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Zambia.