The Enterprise Research Centre invites applications for funding for Communities of Interest around specific research topics which can contribute to the evidence base on SME growth and development. Two grants of up to £4,000 each are available to fund research networking activity, workshops or seminars.                                                       Applications for Community of Interest funding can be made by faculty in any UK university and should be submitted to ERC by 7th November 2014. Successful bids will be announced by 5th December 2014. Funded activity should take place between February and October 2015.


The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) is an independent research centre which conducts policy relevant research on SME growth and development. The ERC is led by Professor Stephen Roper (Warwick) and Professor Mark Hart (Aston). The ERC is a partnership between Warwick Business School, Aston Business School, Imperial College Business School, Strathclyde Business School, and Birmingham Business School. Funding is being provided by the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the British Bankers’ Association and the Technology Strategy Board.

Further details on the activities of ERC are available at

As part of its role in facilitating SME research in the UK, ERC is offering two grants to support the development of Communities of Interest around specific SME research topics. (Two Communities of Interest have already been established focussing on university-SME collaboration and open innovation). Funding is intended to support new research collaborations or networks which can contribute to the evidence base supporting SME growth and development in the UK. Applications may relate to any area but proposals on the following growth related themes are particularly welcome:

  • Social or community enterprise
  • Rural enterprise
  • Barriers or enablers of SME growth in emerging industries
  • Non-bank finance and SME growth
  • Supporting effective commercialisation
  • Third-age entrepreneurship and growth
  • Emerging business models for growth

Applications may be submitted by faculty members in any UK university. Proposals which are likely to contribute to promoting SME growth and development in the UK are particularly welcomed as are proposals that can demonstrate a strong profile of activity and potential outcomes or ones which include collaboration between research organisations, firms or business support organisations from across all parts of the UK.

For Full Information on the Grant process  please use the following link COI-call-for-proposals. 2014 Final