The time has come to sharpen the focus on productivity

Raising productivity is often cited as one of the UK’s most important economic challenges. On the surface of it, improving productivity sounds like a pretty straightforward idea to grasp. It’s about economies, workplaces and people being more efficient, increasing the volume of goods created in relation to the inputs used to produce them. But in… Read more

What’s happening to finance in an uncertain world?

This week saw the launch of the latest results of the SME Finance Monitor, produced by BVA BDRC . In the first half of this year, it seems that financing behaviours have been shifting across the SME sector. This movement comes after a long period of relative stability. The survey responses add further colour to… Read more

Small firms and formal intellectual property protection: A paradox?

We know that firms use knowledge protection mechanisms to limit imitation and enhance their ability to appropriate the returns to their innovative investments. Recent research at the ERC suggests that both formal (e.g. patents) and informal (e.g. secrecy) knowledge protection mechanisms are important for the innovation returns of small firms (those with fewer than 50… Read more

Strengthening Sectors – ERC’s 6th State of Small Business conference

Understanding small business dynamics is central to our work at the Enterprise Research Centre and once a year we gather at the Shard in London with 150 researchers, stakeholders, policy makers and small business owners to discuss and debate the state of the small business community. The sixth of these events was held at the… Read more

Innovation and productivity: How strong is the connection?

Innovation and productivity: How strong is the connection? ‘Innovation’ is a much used (and abused) term employed to describe everything from flea collars for dogs[1] to electric cars. As a result, measuring innovation can be tricky, particularly in service sectors where firms’ relationships to customers are often individual and bespoke. Fortunately, the kind people at… Read more

Innovating … into trouble!

Innovation is good isn’t it? We all love exciting new products or services which are useful and add value to our lives. For firms too innovation can be good for attracting new customers and increasing profits. But what happens when innovation goes wrong? We have all experienced this. Think about the last time you tried… Read more

Sharing is the best strategy for small firm productivity

We know that the UK has a ‘long-tail’ of low productivity firms. The ability of these firms to increase their productivity has become a considerable concern for policymakers and is the subject of the Government’s soon to be published Business Productivity Review.  It is now recognised that one of the keys to raising productivity within… Read more

What is the State of The Art (SOTA)?

We are working in an increasingly fast-paced world in which more and more information is becoming available from multiple sources. For many of us, this situation makes it difficult to keep on top of complex issues and debates and identify trustworthy and reliable information. To help, the Enterprise Research Centre is today launching a new… Read more