Desenvolvimento SP's annual survey covered 182 entrepreneurs


Invest in innovation to win new markets. By 2020, this is the goal of small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) in São Paulo, as revealed by an annual survey by Desenvolvimento SP that seeks to identify the profile of entrepreneurs and point out their perceptions about innovation and the main investment difficulties. The survey, prepared with multiple-choice questions, was applied throughout 2017 during the events of the Movimento pela Inovação, which brings content and assistance to entrepreneurs in search of resources to get innovative projects off the ground, and had the participation of 182 entrepreneurs from the cities of São Paulo, Sorocaba, Marilia, Ribeirão Preto and São José dos Campos.
Of the 182 entrepreneurs who participated in the survey, more than half (53%) represent small and medium-sized service providers. Those who are at the forefront of industries (32%), commerce (10%) and enterprises linked to agribusiness (6%).
Regarding the size of the companies, SMEs present a 43% view of the respondents, followed by startups, with 32%, and micro-businesses, with the other 24%.
Perceptions about innovation
Asked what they consider innovation, 74% of respondents define it as “any type of innovation applied to the business”, against 7% who believe that “innovation is just a revolutionary product”.
It is worth mentioning that, when they signed up for the events of the Movement for Innovation, most entrepreneurs mentioned their interest in “knowing about new investment options”, as 86% “never obtained any type of resource focused on innovation”.
For other 16%, the reason for their participation was to “present an innovation project” to the funding institutions present at the meetings to discover the best way to make it viable and get it off the ground.
investment intention
Especially in times of crisis, investing in innovation, whether disruptive or incremental, is the best alternative found by entrepreneurs to circumvent its negative effects. According to the survey, more than half of respondents, the equivalent of 55%, intend to invest in some type of innovation between 2018 and 2020.
For 40% of those who wish to make these investments, the main motivation pointed out is to be able to “win new markets”. For other 24%s, “increasing the competitiveness” of the business is the main objective. Separately, “increase in revenue” and “increase in profitability” are the interests that appear in the sequence, with 19% and 16%, respectively.
In this scenario, when asked about the degree of innovation present in the business model of their companies, 70% of the interviewees claim to lead “innovative or very innovative” companies; 16% as being “little innovative” and 13% indicated being ahead of “traditional” companies.
Difficulties to invest
Another important data revealed in the survey was in relation to the main difficulties encountered in investing in innovation. Each interviewee pointed out three problems. The most cited difficulty, by 24%, was “obtaining lines of credit or other sources of financing”. Then comes the option “tax burden, taxes, legislation and bureaucracy”, with 23% of citations, and “uncertainty about the country's future”, with 14%.
“For the second consecutive year, the survey shows that, despite the difficulties encountered, entrepreneurs remain confident and should continue investing in innovation. This attitude will be crucial to boost the recovery of the economy in the state and in the country”, says Milton Luiz de Melo Santos, president of Desenvolvimento SP.
As for the difficulty faced by entrepreneurs in finding lines of financing for innovation, the executive says that the Agency is on the right track. “It is a reality that is changing. When we started the Movement for Innovation in 2015, we started to bring quality information and facilitate the access of entrepreneurs in São Paulo to sustainable credit. Proof of this is that Desenvolvimento SP's financing for innovative projects has already reached the figure of R$ 123.7 million throughout the State of São Paulo. Before the events, this amount was only R$ 13.1 million”, says Santos.
The Innovation Movement
Transforming innovative ideas into successful businesses is the mission of the Movement for Innovation. Created by Desenvolvimento SP in 2015 to encourage investment in innovation in the State of São Paulo, the initiative has grown and is gaining more and more notoriety among São Paulo businessmen and entrepreneurs. In the last three years, more than 1,600 entrepreneurs have been present at the events and who have presented innovative projects to receive from guidance to contributions of resources to put them into practice. Important institutions such as FAPESP, IPT, Embrapii, Sebrae-SP, Centro Paula Souza, IEL, BNDES and Finep are partners of the Movement for Innovation.

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