Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in El Salvador

What has been done

The ILO and El Salvador’s Asociación Nacional de la Empresa Privada (ANEP – National Private Enterprise Council) organized the National Enterprise Survey between 2018 and 2019, in order to collect primary information to assess the business environment of the Salvadorian economy.

The survey and its sample

The survey was comprised of in-depth interviews with the owners or top managers of 1,538 enterprises, covering the whole country. The sample was stratified by enterprise size, with 57% of Micro enterprises (10 employees and less), of which 63 were formal and 37 were informal, 27% of small enterprises (11 to 30 employees), and 16% of medium and large enterprises (31 employees and above). The survey covered all economic sectors, i.e. primary (agriculture, energy, gas, and water), secondary (manufacturing and construction), and tertiary (commerce and services). The survey gathered insights on business dynamics such as enterprise creation and longevity, diversification, internationalization, innovation, and human capital. Furthermore, enterprises were surveyed on the key obstacles to enterprise development, with a specific focus on access to finance, impact of administrative procedures, and the cost of running a business.


The statistical work carried out through the survey produced a unique and innovative perspective on the Enabling Environment for Sustainable Enterprises in El Salvador. The data collected through the study will be used by the ILO and by ANEP to advocate for and guide reforms to improve the business environment in El Salvador, ensuring that such reforms are founded on a solid evidence base.
To complement the analysis of the enabling environment in El Salvador, a specific study on entrepreneurship in the Salvadorian economy was conducted. The study performed a detailed assessment of microdata from household surveys that made possible to build a large database to examine decisions on entrepreneurship.