Innovating places

Climbing a mountain, travelling North or spending time near the sea we all become aware of differences in the climate. In some places configurations of landscape create specific micro-climates, which create conditions of warmth or shelter allowing plants and gardens to flourish. Recent research suggests that business innovation may work in a similar way, with… Read more

How do we fire up the start ups

ERC Deputy Director Mark Hart joined an expert panel at the The Centre for the New Midlands webinar ” How do we fire up the start-ups” discussing how to make the West Midlands the most attractive place to start a new business in the UK. Amongst the questions discussed were Is the West Midlands the place… Read more

COVID hammers UK firms – but sparks digital ‘pivot’ for some

Over 40% of UK’s small and medium-sized firms report COVID-related hit to turnover, while 3 in 10 forced to cut jobs Around 200,000 firms could be close to collapse based on analysis of those trading insolvently or running out of cash But a fifth of firms report positive impacts from the pandemic, with many embracing… Read more

GEM NI Report 2019

Published today this report, completed by Queen’s University Belfast in conjunction with the Enterprise Research Centre, provides international benchmark data for entrepreneurial activity in Northern Ireland, on a comparable basis. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is an international project which seeks to provide information on the entrepreneurial landscape of 50 countries in 2019. This is important… Read more

What ‘works’ for improving small business productivity?

Ask anyone working with small business owners and they will tell you great stories of how mentoring and training can transform people and their businesses. Each of these stories is important in its own right. In terms of policy, however, this type of anecdotal evidence is of little value in terms of justifying public investments… Read more

Crisis entrepreneurs

Is now a good time to start a new business? In this FT article published this morning, ERC Deputy Director Mark Hart says we could be seeing an uptick of “crisis entrepreneurs” adding that these are people who have lost their job during the pandemic and have no other choice in the current labour market than… Read more

Entrepreneurship “in jeopardy” after hitting new high pre-Covid

Published today the GEMUK 2019 report sponsored by NatWest shows UK early-stage entrepreneurship hit a new pre-pandemic high in 2019.  However, this may be in jeopardy because of the effects of the crisis combined with significant gaps in support for people in the early stages of enterprise formation. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) research consortium… Read more

Talking about workplace mental health: How do employers in the Midlands understand and experience mental health issues?

How do employers talk about mental health issues in their workplaces? In our latest Insight published today we use survey and narrative data collected from Midlands firms in early 2020 prior to the first COVID-19 lockdown to examine two questions: What do employers understand by ‘good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace’?  How do employers describe… Read more

The second lockdown risks an insolvency tsunami

Thousands of businesses across England will remain shuttered today as the new month-long coronavirus lockdown takes effect. Citing new scientific evidence showing an expected surge in cases nationwide over the coming weeks, the Government finally bowed to pressure and abandoned its previous regional tiering strategy last weekend. Critics argue that a sharp ‘circuit breaker’ lockdown… Read more

Job loss fears making workers less open about mental health

Latest ERC Research Report released today shows workers have become less open about their mental health struggles since the coronavirus outbreak because of fears they could lose their jobs if they speak up, new research suggests. The findings  based on in-depth interviews with managers in UK firms over the summer, also show workplaces have become divided… Read more