Market research is one of the most useful tools that a business can have to understand their customers, spot industry trends, and seize innovation opportunities. MSMEs need access to insights from market data in order to succeed commercially and grow, but many of them are not familiar with market research or are not aware of its importance. For instance, MSMEs do not tend to know what questions to ask and what to do next, nor have the skills to extract insights from data. While outsourcing to a third party might be a feasible solution, the perceived cost of conducting market research can deter many MSMEs from making this investment.
There is currently no policy that facilitates or guarantees MSMEs’ access to market and innovation data. Jakarta’s flagship Jakpreneur program, which is based on Governor of DKI Jakarta Regulation No. 2 of 2020 on Integrated Entrepreneurship Development, provides structured training for entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, but does not offer direct access to market research facilities or specifically include market research as part of the training module.
Actively providing essential market information in a way that is digestible to all can help MSMEs to pave their way to data-led growth and success. Policy action should focus on who is gathering the data, what data is being gathered, and how to share this data with the intended audience. To achieve this, research institutions or private research companies should be incentivized to collect market and innovation data, which can then be processed into relevant bite-sized information with actionable insights. Associations or educational institutions can assist in delivering the information to MSMEs associated with them. Furthermore, participants of Jakpreneur should be given access to this information as part of their participation in the entrepreneurship development program.
For many entrepreneurs, the decision to turn into innovations depends on the ease to adopt technology, trained workforces, and multiple sources of finance. Yet, navigating the complex regulation is a major challenge for most lay business people. To expedite the economic recovery post-pandemic recession, the stakeholders in the ecosystem are urged to formulate the right policy to simplify such challenges.