Empirical work on micro and small firms focuses on developed countries, while existing work on developing countries is all too often based on small samples taken from ad hoc questionnaires. The census data we analyze here are fairly representative of small business structure in India. Consistent with findings from prior research on developed countries, size and age have a negative impact on firm growth in the majority of specifications. Enterprises managed by women have lower expected growth rates. Proprietary firms face lower growth on the whole, especially if they are young firms. Exporting has a positive effect on firm growth, especially for young firms and for female-owned firms. Although some small firms are able to convert know-how into commercial success, we find that many others are unable to translate it into superior growth.
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