Recent Work on Entrepreneurship in Tonga

In 2009, work was completed by the departments staff on entrepreneurship in Tonga for AusAid.

Two sets of data were collected. The first is the Adult Population Survey, which involved a survey of the national adult population. The second consists of the National Experts’ Survey and the qualitative interview of the national experts. These surveys used a framework that was provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring Group. The aim of both the quantitative surveys and the qualitative interviews was to gauge the factors that constrain entrepreneurial activities and the factors that promote entrepreneurship, and to recommend areas that can be improved to promote entrepreneurship in Tonga. These factors are combined to provide a platform from which general and specific policy recommendations can be made.

The general overarching policy recommendations derive from the National Adult Population Survey, which involved 1200 Tongan adults. The key drivers used to identify general policy recommendations include factors such as: understanding entrepreneurship; motivation to be entrepreneurial; aspirations; investments and commitments; market and innovations; business angels; people that exited their businesses, and social entrepreneurship. More specific national policy recommendations were drawn from combining the National Experts’ quantitative surveys with the qualitative interviews that involved 30 surveyed Experts and 25 interviewed Experts. The key drivers used to identify specific policy recommendations came from the national conditions used in both the quantitative survey and the qualitative interviews. The combination of both these two datasets provided rich, specific and key recommendations.

The national conditions are: finance; government policies, government programmes; education and training; research and development transfer; commercial and services infrastructure; market openness; physical infrastructure; cultural and social norms; opportunities to start up; social image of entrepreneurship; intellectual property; women’s support to women’s start ups; attention to high growth; interest in innovation and social entrepreneurship.

Although different drivers were used in the two studies, they were interrelated. This was seen in the consistent results that were derived from recommendations that came from both the National Adult Population Survey and the National Experts’ Survey and interview. The policy recommendations are aimed at fostering entrepreneurial activities and the improvement of such activities that will be realised when the policies are implemented. These sets of policy recommendations were created from the recommendations provided by the Tongan participants. They are intended to assist the work of government departments and local, regional and international aid agencies. They can also guide the work of students and educators who have an interest in the field of business and social entrepreneurship.

Please contact Judith King if you would like to know anything further about this research.

%d bloggers like this: