Academic journal article E+M Ekonomie a Management

Computer Literacy and Use of ICT as Key Factors of Micro-Enterprise Success

Academic journal article E+M Ekonomie a Management

Computer Literacy and Use of ICT as Key Factors of Micro-Enterprise Success

Article excerpt

Introduction

Europe and most of the word is dealing with economy crises and everyone is searching for solutions. Many large companies were destroyed by their own greed and because of their stocks manipulations without solid financial coverage. Because of that also many micro-enterprises have stopped working, but on the other hand more new ones were formed. How to distinct die-hard, high quality, high growth enterprises from low profitable? Why we are interested in micro-enterprises in the first place? Here are some facts and an example that inspired our study.

No generally accepted definition of a micro-enterprise can be found in the research literature. The most common criterion for a micro-enterprise is the total number of employees, often combined with some financial indicators, such as the firm's annual turnover and assets. In the absence of a precise definition, micro-enterprises are defined in different contexts in various business cultures. Sometimes, the definition of a micro-enterprise depends on the industry [13]. In the USA the definition for small enterprises in most cases is less than 500 employees depending on industry [6]. Industry Canada's definition of a "small business" is a firm that has fewer than 100 employees [9]. On the national front, 78% of Canada's one million businesses employ fewer than five people. Because of that we must be careful when we compare results between nations. In a research in Slovenia in 1999 [27] the computerisation of small businesses were analysed. From 122 included small firms with 1 to 50 employees, the average number of total employees was only 5.7.

In some studies micro-enterprises are represented only by entrepreneurs. For most readers the notification of entrepreneurship and "the entrepreneur" is so familiar that they need no explanation yet, according to Mills et. al. [18], the concept of entrepreneurship itself remains nebulous, broadly conceived, open to a range of definitions and differently employed. It is hardly surprising that there is no concordant and comprehensive definition of the entrepreneur.

If we know the fact that the number of micro-enterprises organized as legal and private persons (entrepreneurs) is almost equal (45% and 55%) than we can assume that the whole group needs special attention.

In the last decade European Union (EU) recognized the importance of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises in terms of growth and economic development. On May 6th, 2003, the Commission of the European Communities [25] adopted Recommendation 2003/361/EC regarding the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in Community policies applied within the Community and the European Economic Area. Within the SME category, a micro-enterprise is defined as an enterprise that employs fewer than 10 persons and whose annual turnover and/or annual balance sheet in total does not exceed EUR 2 million. Slovenia as a member state of EU accepted this recommendation.

In Slovenia, there were 169.360 enterprises registered in 2011; 94.5% of them were micro-enterprises, 4.1% were small enterprises, 1.2% were medium-sized and 0.2% large enterprises [15]. The overall share of micro-enterprises organized as natural persons (individual private entrepreneurs) was 55.5% and of legal persons was 44.5%. Most persons were employed in large enterprises (30.6%), followed by micro-enterprises (27.7%), medium-sized (24.8%) and small enterprises (16.9%). Micro-enterprises in 2011 generated around one fifth of the total turnover (19.7%). Similar share of annual turnover was generated by small (20.4%) and middle-size enterprises (26.4%).

In Slovenia in 2011, the number of enterprises increased by 2.0% and turnover by 4.7%. However, the number of persons employed was 2.4% lower than a year before. The increase in the number of enterprises and the increase in their turnover were mostly recorded in electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning, supply and water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities. …

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