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

ERC Conference 2019 – Strengthening Sectors

On the 27th June the ERC welcomed over 100 delegates to The Shard for the 6th State of Small Business Britain Conference, which this year focused on the topical theme of ‘Strengthening Sectors’. The conference, which was chaired this year by Professor Nola Hewitt-Dundas of Queens University Belfast, covered a wide range of issues relating… Read more

Micro-Businesses in Ireland: From Ambition to Innovation

Micro businesses, typically businesses with 9 employees or less, play an important role in stimulating innovation, employment and growth. Despite this, relatively little is known about this important segment of the business population as such businesses are often excluded from official surveys. This report published today presents the findings of a survey conducted on micro-businesses… Read more

Firm-level data hints at “canary in the mine” for UK’s employment ‘miracle’

View video here Firm-level data hints at “canary in the mine” for UK’s employment ‘miracle’ • Enterprise Research Centre study finds established firms are already shedding jobs, despite employment being buoyed by start-ups • ‘Churn’ in private sector saw 4.9m jobs created and destroyed last year • Strong employment figures may be “lulling policymakers into… Read more

February 2019 Press Coverage

Real Business 11/02/2019 Are business survival statistics relevant? Telegraph 15/02/2019 How fintech is transforming small businesses  

Minority-led firms more likely to face “survival threats”

• New study by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) of 600 London firms finds 48% of businesses run by ethnic minority leaders suffered a major crisis in past five years. • Data on different types of entrepreneur provides basis for new toolkit to help businesses become more resilient to threats. • With Brexit uncertainty continuing, study hopes to… Read more

Northern Ireland’s enterprise progress threatened by Brexit uncertainty

Proportion of early-stage entrepreneurs in Northern Ireland grows 75% in 15 years Meanwhile, established micro-businesses employ 20% of people, showing high rates of profitability and exporting Bad Brexit deal could “set the clock back” on enterprise, academics warn   Brexit’s risk to recent positive trends among Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs and micro-firms has been spelt out… Read more

Latest SOTA reviews from ERC

This week sees a further two SOTAs published in the new series. Each ERC SOTA Review provides a short briefing on a tightly-defined topic, drawing on the most recent research and policy literature. The reviews clearly summarise the main evidence points, provide an indication of robustness for each evidence point and identify key uncertainties and… Read more