Iñaki Peña: “Microenterprises tend to be fragile”

2002/02/01 Galarraga Aiestaran, Ana - Elhuyar Zientzia Iturria: Elhuyar aldizkaria

Iñaki Peña CAF-Elhuyar II. He is the winner of the scholarship. Demography and Technological Regime of Basque Microenterprises The title of the book project is at the gates of the twentieth century.

Congratulations on your scholarship first. To learn more about what your work is all about, explain what business demographics are.

Business demography analyzes the behavior of companies from birth to death or cessation of activity. This shows the overall life span of companies. In addition, I want to link it with the technological regime of companies and analyze if there are differences between those that are technologically active and those that are not.

What led you to write the book? That is, what do you want to explain and to whom is it directed?

Iñaki Peña is a PhD in economics and professor at ESTE in San Sebastian.
A. Information

According to most studies, most companies that are created fail in the first three or four years, a phenomenon that I want to analyze right here, since the disappearance in so little time of about 80% of the companies created in Euskal Herria is a serious problem. Therefore, I intend to investigate the causes of this mortality and explain it simply so that it can be read by anyone. The book is not aimed at experts, but at anyone interested in the creation of companies.

Why has it focused on microenterprises and not on other measures?

Most of the companies created are family and very small, with a maximum of ten workers. But, despite being small, they are very important in our economy. Also, I can compare with larger companies to see their differences.

Do these companies have common characteristics, such as activity and/or age?

There is everything. Many times a company does not create young people who have just finished their studies, but already had a business in place and for various reasons has decided to expand another line, or that leaves the previous one and is dedicated to another activity. Undoubtedly, the experience in the business world has a great importance in the survival of the company, since it is previously known the market, suppliers, competition and is better prepared to face the problems. However, the beginner can approach the project more courageously and courageously, but he will be faced with many problems he had not foreseen and will find it very difficult to overcome the first three or four critical years.

Faced with this problem, what is the attitude of economic or political leaders?

I think the authorities are aware of the situation and have even begun to push policies like development agencies or invaders. Incubators are residences that offer space to new companies, offering fax, telephone and other services. In addition, some are given classes, helped to make the business plan, etc.

How will you organize the book to explain it? Will it be a descriptive book or do you plan to reach some conclusions?

Most of the companies that are created are family and very small.

Precisely, I want to give an orientation to the book. I still do not know what kind of data I will be able to collect, but I do intend to draw conclusions that I would like to be useful from that data. To begin with, I want to make a diagnosis of the situation of these companies and their weight in our economy. In fact, I want to demonstrate its economic importance. Thus, we will observe what kind of problems they have and probably the main problem they have is the enormous mortality.

I will also dedicate a section to the effectiveness of development policies to see if projects like invaders fulfill their purpose or not, that is, I want to know if they can help overcome those first critical years. Above all, following the evolution of companies, I want to obtain mortality rates and, if possible, to draw causal relationships. However, I do not intend to analyze the causes of the death of companies, since they are generalists and I have already structured the book.

Finally, we want to know your opinion about the scientific dissemination that is being carried out today.

In my opinion, scientific disclosure is a booming phenomenon. At present it is very important to communicate the results of the research, not only for researchers working in the same field, but also for researchers working in other fields: economic, political... for the whole society. It is evident that there are more and more specific journals, so it seems that the scope is shrinking, but on the other hand there are more journals.

On the other hand, in the world of research there is a main language, English. To advance science we need to be able to solve it in English. However, it is also important to do so in Basque, but if we each focus on our language, we leave out a wide field of knowledge that is not good to advance. If we have the capacity to expose research in Basque, it is necessary to do so, even for another type of public. It is important that research results are also transmitted in our language, even at different levels.

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