Research Report

Understanding business resilience among under-represented groups in London

ERC Research Report


Wishart, Maria, Roper, Stephen, Hart, Mark

Associated Themes
  • Diversity
  • Entrepreneurship

Supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation this report highlights the preliminary findings from a new survey of business adversity and resilience in 600 small businesses located in six London boroughs, three low-income and three middle-income. The study aims to identify the characteristics and strategies that foster resilience survival and growth in SMEs, and to develop practical toolkits to support under-represented entrepreneurs in their efforts to develop more resilient businesses. Four key findings emerge:

• Male and female-led businesses were equally likely to have experienced an existential threat to the survival of their business in the past five years. However, male business owners judged the potential for future threats to be less significant than their female counterparts.
• Ethnic-led businesses were significantly more likely than non-ethnic led businesses to have experienced a threat to the survival of their business. This effect was more evident for younger ethnic businesses and those located in low-income boroughs.
• Ethnic-minority business owners also judged the potential for future threats to be greater than their non-ethnic counterparts. Key issues included increased competition from new and existing sources, cost rises, problems with premises and changes in regulation or legislation.
• Psychological measures of personal resilience on average vary little between male and female business leaders and those from ethnic and non-ethnic groups. There is more significant variation within each group.