Small businesses: 1.1 million economically active entities with up to 50 employees
The map was created for T-Mobile Takeoffs by Samizdat, a team of data journalists
A total of 443 projects are competing in this year’s edition of T-Mobile Takeoffs
At the end of 2016, there were 1.1 million economically active entities with up to 50 employees in the Czech Republic. Although this figure may seem high, there is still a lot of room for new enterprises on the market. For example, there are communities with no hairdressers, confectioners or grocery stores. This is shown by the Big Map of Small Businesses, which was created by the Samizdat team of data journalists in cooperation with the T-Mobile Takeoffs project aimed at supporting those with the courage to start their own business. The project is now in its seventh year. The map of businesses offers an overview of competitors as well as business opportunities and is available free of charge.
“We consider small businesses to be an extremely important, yet somewhat neglected part of the national economy. This is why we are offering support to start-up businesses through the seventh edition of the T-Mobile Takeoffs project,” says Tomáš Ryšavý, Strategy Director at T-Mobile Czech Republic, adding: “We know from experience that a good idea alone is not enough for a good start, as knowledge of the market and competitors is equally important. Therefore, we have decided to offer everyone who is interested in starting a business an online source of such valuable information.”
The unique online mapenables everyone who wants to have a look at their existing or potential competitors to search for the number of companies in eighty sectors down to the level of individual communities in the Czech Republic. Everyone who wants to start a business can now examine the strength of the competition they will have to face in a particular area and the types of businesses that are lacking in their given area. Available free of charge, the map was created on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of several public sources and provides information that was not previously available to the public. In addition to being a practical tool for entrepreneurs, it can also serve universities and journalists, for example, as a basis for analysing the business environment in the Czech Republic from different perspectives.
At the end of 2016, there were 2.8 million business entities registered in the Czech Republic, of which roughly one-half were economically active. The vast majority of these entities (1.1 million) are small businesses, i.e. companies with up to 50 employees. Out of the sectors selected for the map, the largest number of small businesses are involved in the operation of restaurants, cafés and food stalls (50,711). These are followed by hairdressers and beauticians, of which there are 32,421 in the Czech Republic. Grocery stores rank third with 27,421 entities, followed by wellness services, cabinetmakers, general stores and cereal growers.
The map also shows that we are nation of lovers of alcoholic beverages – production of spirits ranks seventh nationwide (5,196 companies) among the selected sectors. In regional statistics, it appears in the top ten in all regions except for Prague and the Liberec region. Production of spirits ranks highest (fifth) in the Olomouc, Karlovy Vary and Moravia-Silesia regions.
Kindergartens have made it into the top ten in half of the country’s regions, although they rank eleventh nationwide. They are most frequently represented in the Central Bohemia, Pardubice and Liberec regions, where they rank seventh.
|Restaurants and food stalls||50711|
|Hairdressers and beauty parlours||32421|
|Grocery and department stores||27421|
|Production of spirits||5196|
|Junk shops and pawn shops||3744|
|Growers of cereals and oil seeds||3719|
There are still gaps in the market
Although there are more than a million small businesses in the Czech Republic, there are still a number of communities with only some basic services or even none at all. For example, there are dozens of communities with a population greater than 1,000 where there is no hairdresser – e.g. Obrnice, Staré Město and Dřevohostice. Rare professions also include tailors (there is no entrepreneur whose main area of business would be “manufacture of other outer clothing” in Havířov, Český Těšín and Nový Jičín, to name just a few communities). Money can also be made in ice-cream production (there are only 12 producers specialising in ice-cream in the entire Czech Republic) and in butcher shops, as there are only 300 such shops in the Czech Republic.
Tradition can still be seen in a number of professions – glassmakers concentrate around Nový Bor, producers of fashion jewellery in the Jablonec nad Nisou and Liberec regions, and winemakers in the south of Moravia. However, certain findings can be surprising: for example, there is an increased concentration of junk shops and pawn shops in the region between Plzeň and Tachov and in the Chomutov region. The unparalleled highest numbers of different hospitality businesses (when recalculated per resident) are concentrated in tourist areas at the nation’s borders.
More businesses are located in Bohemia, led by far by Prague
It will perhaps be no surprise that, when recalculated per resident, the leader in the number of businesses is Prague (175 economically active entities with up to 50 employees per 1,000 residents). Far behind it, second place is taken by the South Moravia region (108 companies), with Brno-city in particular reporting 133 companies per 1,000 residents. Conversely, the Ústí nad Labem region (with 79 companies per 1,000 residents) and the Moravia-Silesia region (82 companies) are at the bottom of the list, with Ostrava-city being somewhat better placed with 92 entities per 1,000 residents. In Prague, the top district is Prague 1, where the incredible number of 500 active companies per 1,000 residents have their registered office, followed – surprisingly – by the district of Běchovice in second place.
Brno-city, which ranks first among areas outside of Prague, is in 45th place when the capital’s various districts are included. Hradec Králové ranks 57th and Plzeň 60th with 114 companies per 1,000 residents. The Czech Republic’s third largest city, Ostrava, ranks only 103rd.
The findings of the Big Map are also confirmed by experience gained from the T-Mobile Takeoffs programme, which is in its seventh year of supporting start-up businesses. A total of 2,130 projects were registered in the previous editions of the programme and 342 winners were announced, of which roughly 300 are successfully running their businesses. Until the fifth edition of Takeoffs, the vast majority of participants were women, which also had an impact on the ranking of the types of business most frequently registered in the programme. The first rankings thus include products for kids and mothers, clothing and food production. In recent years, however, the share of services and IT projects has been growing. The largest number of participants are from Prague and the Central Bohemia region, while the other strongly represented regions are cities with universities or a tradition of a certain type of production.
The most frequently represented fields of business in T-Mobile Takeoffs:
Products for kids 53
General household goods 35
Food production 29
Health and beauty 16
Cafés and restaurants 15
“It is clear from the previous editions that the key criteria of success are not only persistence and a good idea, but also knowledge of the market on which one wants to do business. We believe that the map of businesses will be a useful tool for everyone,” says Eva Karasová, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager at T-Mobile Czech Republic, adding: “A total of 443 participants have registered in this year’s edition and we are looking forward not only to new ideas but also to the energy that beginning entrepreneurs have.”
About the Big Map of Small Businesses
The map was created by Samizdat, a team of data journalists, using the latest publicly available data (as of the second half of 2016) from several sources, including the Trade Licensing Register, Commercial Register and Business Register. The analysis was time-intensive, particularly given the limited possibilities of bulk data downloading. “Information from these registers partially overlap, so we have combined it in one database and removed any duplicities,” explains Petr Kočí of Samizdat.
The map is currently thought to be the most transparent and comprehensive source of free information on economically active entities with up to 50 employees, classified by sector (81 selected sectors) and location. The map is available free of charge and can be embedded in users’ websites. “It can thus be used by professional business associations, specialised business servers and economic media and universities,” says Petr Kočí.
T-Mobile Takeoffs is a programme aimed at supporting start-up businesses, in which 3,600 entrepreneurs have taken part in the past six years. It offers free regional workshops on issues relating to starting a business and a competition in which the best business ideas are selected. Registration of applications in the seventh edition of the programme ended on 19 March 2017. Workshops will take place in every region of the Czech Republic in April and May. A jury will select three winners at the end of each workshop. Winners of the regional rounds will receive financial support, consulting services from experts in different fields of business, packages of telecommunications and banking services and tangible prizes to help them launch their businesses. The overall winner, i.e. the winner of the jury prize, will receive prizes worth approximately CZK 600,000. In addition to that, online voting will be held to determine the winner of the prize of the public. For more information, please visit www.rozjezdy.cz.
Samizdat is a team of data journalists who are engaged in collecting, analysing, visualising and interpreting data which are or should be publicly available. They focused on data journalism in 2012 as members of the editorial staff at the Hospodářské noviny daily and the IHNED server. They have been cooperating with Czech Radio since 2014. More information is available at https://samizdat.cz/.