Published: 3 April 2019
This report presents new information on the ambitions, growth aspirations and innovation levels of Irish micro-businesses.
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 presents the findings of a survey conducted on micro-businesses in Ireland.
Ambition plays an important role in ensuring businesses achieve their full potential. The survey conducted during the course of this project reveals that one in four micro-businesses in Ireland want to build a national or international business. Within Ireland, micro-businesses in the West are amongst the most ambitious nationally. Interestingly, however, business and personal ambitions are broadly similar for male and female micro-businesses owners. For many people flexibility is a key personal motivator for running their own micro-business.
This report provides the first detailed information on the uptake of digital technologies by micro-businesses in Ireland. The results suggest that Irish micro-businesses perform well, adopting digital technology at a faster rate than their counterparts in the UK and particularly the USA. Micro-businesses in Ireland also compare well internationally with respect to introducing new or improved products and services. Finally, the report emphasises the importance that micro-businesses, due to their scale and access to technology, should not be left behind larger businesses in the global digital revolution.
This report describes new and unique survey data on established micro-businesses with 1-9 employees in Ireland. The report focuses on the ambitions – business and personal- of the owners; as well as innovative activity and the uptake of digital technology within micro-businesses. In Ireland, most micro-businesses are mature, and many are home-based. They are closely related to the families which own and run them.
This report represents a collaboration between University College Cork and the UK Enterprise Research Centre. Views in the report are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect those of the sponsoring organisations.
School, Cork Univeristy Business
Management and Leadership
Productivity and performance
We used depth interviews with business managers from the Midlands Engine area of England to explore the ways in which they and their organisations experienced mental health issues during the Covid-19 lockdown period. We spoke with our participants before and after lockdown. Four key themes emerged from the managers’ narratives. Firstly, the crisis has meant significant changes to the ways that many people experience the workplace and this has led to a number of new triggers for mental health issues. Secondly, mental health issues during and post-lockdown affected some groups of employees more, or in different ways, than others. Often, those affected were different from those who had experienced mental health issues pre-Covid. Thirdly, while stigma is known to discourage people from disclosing mental health issues, employees may be even less likely to admit to mental health issues during and following the crisis and lockdown than before. Fourthly, with increased remote working, it may be more difficult to identify the changes in behaviour that can signal that someone is struggling with mental health issues. Taking account of these insights is important to allow employers, policymakers and mental health practitioners to be aware of potential issues, and to design appropriate interventions. Our findings also have implications for the future research agenda.
Published: 4 November 2020
The pandemic has brought about difficult times for many businesses in the UK. Currently, with the onset of a second wave, and the end of the Brexit transition period nearing, the road to economic recovery looks arduous. Inevitably, the rate of job and firm destruction will increase but for those businesses that manage to survive, sustainable long-term productivity will be key to recovery and growth. However, are we using the right measure of an average when looking at productivity?
Published: 16 October 2020
Enterprise Research Centre
Warwick Business School
University of Warwick
Coventry CV4 7AL
Enterprise Research Centre
Aston Business School
Birmingham B4 7ET
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