Poor broadband hinders resilience among rural businesses

Sub-standard infrastructure in rural areas – particularly lack of quality broadband – is affecting businesses’ ability to be resilient and bounce back from adversity, according to a major survey from the National Innovation Centre for Rural Enterprise (NICRE). Around a third of rural enterprises in the North East, South West and West Midlands, compared to a… Read more

Changing the late payment culture for SMEs

In the 10th edition of the Exploring Enterprise podcast series from the Enterprise Research Centre, Mark Hart is joined by Philip King, previously the Small Business Commissioner and responsible for advising small businesses on their trading relationships and Ant Persse, Chief Executive of Optimum Finance, a specialist invoice finance company  and newly established Saltare Technologies Limited, a… Read more

Entrepreneurial Behaviour and the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Collapse in Confidence or a Positive Response to Uncertainty?

Mark Hart, Deputy Director of the ERC and Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School uses data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Annual Population Surveys to examine the impact COVID-19 has had on entrepreneurship in the UK. This blog highlights the work of a new project “Lifting the Lid on Enterprise Diversity & Growth… Read more

Why do Policymakers Need a Panel Study of Entrepreneurial Dynamics (PSED) in the West Midlands?

Dr Meng Song, Aston University and  Professor Mark Hart, Deputy Director of the ERC and Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School. authored a blog discussing  the need to examine the demographic characteristics and motivation of entrepreneurs to increase the understanding of people who create new businesses and to track them throughout their start-up journey… Read more

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/2022 report

Opportunity Amid Disruption The 23rd annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2021/2022 report, unveiled today at the Dubai Expo, measures entrepreneurial activity across 47 high, medium and low-income economies. Data is gathered via a survey of at least 2,000 respondents in each country who answer questions on their entrepreneurial activity, attitudes to enterprise and view of their… Read more

LSBS Small grants

BEIS invites proposals for secondary analyses of the Longitudinal Small Business Survey. Proposals are especially welcome on productivity and place, long term indicator trends, COVID-19 impacts and geographical disparities between firms in capabilities, attitudes or performance. Other topics will also be considered. Proposals are due 17th December 2021. For any queries please contact the Centre… Read more

GEM UK 2020 report

The GEM UK 2020 report is published today. Authored by the UK team and sponsored by NatWest the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) is the most authoritative annual research into entrepreneurial activity and trends. While the global business landscape has changed since 2020, the report and the data within is full of insight as we consider the state of entrepreneurship… Read more

NI research reports on SMEs

Two new reports have been published by the Department for Economy NI.  The research completed by Queen’s University Belfast provides insights on how Northern Ireland Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) have responded to environmental issues and on the digital transformation process of Northern Ireland small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) during the COVID-19 pandemic. The… 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

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

Chancellor’s new measures “leave 3m entrepreneurs high and dry”

News release – for immediate use 24 September 2020  Millions of early-stage entrepreneurs and limited company directors “thrown to the wolves” despite extensions to support schemes Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘winter economy plan’ still excludes millions of entrepreneurs and small business owners from support, the Enterprise Research Centre has warned. Key measures announced by Mr Sunak… Read more

Growth and Diversity – an Opportunity?

The events of the last few months have reminded us all of the impact of economic growth – or the lack of it – on our everyday lives. Beyond the tragedy of COVID-19 in terms of the physical and mental health for individuals, families and communities directly impacted, we are all involved in the resulting… Read more

Shake-up of geographic origin labels scheme “must educate consumers to support UK food heritage”

Education of consumers and minimising red tape is essential as the UK develops its own ‘geographical indication’ (GI) labelling system for traditional food products following Brexit, new research shows  The introduction of a new system for protecting unique British food products such as Cornish pasties and Melton Mowbray pork pies will depend on better educating… Read more

Latest ERC Research Paper

Education of consumers and minimising red tape is essential as the UK develops its own ‘geographical indication’ (GI) labelling system for traditional food products following Brexit, new research shows. An economic analysis by researchers from the ERC found that the primary benefits of the geographical indication (GI) scheme came from the protection of unique, heritage… Read more

‘East-west divide’ sees Manchester pull ahead in Northern Powerhouse enterprise race

A new ERC report published today has highlighted an enterprise divide among Northern Powerhouse regions across a range of growth metrics. An ‘East/West divide’ has opened up when it comes to business start-ups and firm growth in the Northern Powerhouse area, new research has found. The  Northern Powerhouse Growth Dashboard found that in the most… Read more

Start-ups slump as entrepreneurs brace for Brexit

Number of new firms being started falls by 13% across the UK – with much sharper declines in many parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland Firms achieving sustained rapid growth and productivity gains remain a small minority ‘Warning signs’ highlight dangers for job creation from ongoing uncertainty around Brexit The number of new start-ups… Read more

UK Local Growth Dashboard 2019 – Start-ups slump as entrepreneurs brace for Brexit

● Number of new firms being started falls by 13% across the UK – with much sharper declines in many parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland ● Firms achieving sustained rapid growth and productivity gains remain a small minority ● ‘Warning signs’ highlight dangers for job creation from ongoing uncertainty around Brexit The number of new… Read more

UK Local Growth Dashboard 2019. Start-ups slump as entrepreneurs brace for Brexit

Number of new firms being started falls by 13% across the UK – with much sharper declines in many parts of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland Firms achieving sustained rapid growth and productivity gains remain a small minority ‘Warning signs’ highlight dangers for job creation from ongoing uncertainty around Brexit The number of new start-ups in the UK… Read more

UK Local Growth Dashboard 2019

The UK Local Growth Dashboard published today has been developed by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and builds on the LEP Growth Dashboard first launched in June 2014.  Its purpose is to present a set of growth metrics for start-ups and existing firms across a range of sub-national geographies in the UK with a specific… Read more

State of Small Business Britain Conference 2019 – UK manufacturing ‘fragile’ as Brexit nears – research

● Enterprise Research Centre report finds dampened growth across manufacturing firms, as new start-ups also drop by 10% overall and nearly 30% in the automotive sector ● Fewer firms achieving ‘high growth’ status – with key manufacturing regions falling behind ● ERC warns of a “breakdown in dynamism” as Brexit fears stalk the sector The… 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

Job Creation and Destruction in the UK

The ERC published a new research paper today on job creation and destruction in the UK economy, based on new analysis of ONS data. The analysis, by Mark Hart and Neha Prashar, shows that established firms are already shedding jobs, and although employment is being buoyed by start-ups, these are prone to high failure rates…. 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

Gazelle firms hoover up rural jobs – but ‘superstars’ boost productivity for all

• Enterprise Research Centre study shows higher numbers of fast-growing firms in a region can lead to net loss of jobs, especially in rural areas • But clusters of companies that combine job growth with productivity gains have a positive impact from ‘spillover’ effects • Policymakers need to be aware of trade-offs from promoting job… Read more

UK Shared Prosperity Fund an opportunity to rebalance growth

Future business support funding after Brexit should help to rebalance growth across the UK, targeting more deprived areas across the country, where firms have significantly lower turnover. Sharing Prosperity, a new report from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and the Enterprise Research Centre, says it is critical that funding levels are not cut when… Read more

New data on SMEs in Northern Ireland

The ERC launched some new data on SMEs in Northern Ireland at the Entrepreneurship in Action event organised by Invest Northern Ireland in Armagh on 12th November. Nola Hewitt-Dundas presented findings from the Micro-business Northern Ireland report, and Karen Bonner presented findings from the Northern Ireland Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report. On the same day… 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

Northern Ireland’s enterprise progress threatened by Brexit uncertainty

Brexit’s risk to recent positive trends among Northern Ireland’s entrepreneurs and micro-firms has been spelt out in new research. The two studies by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and Queen’s Management School show that the number of people in Northern Ireland becoming entrepreneurs has risen significantly in recent years, while its micro-firms (those employing 1-9 people) are the… Read more

What is the State of The Art (SOTA)?

We are working in an increasingly fast-paced world in which more and more information is becoming available from multiple sources. For many of us, this situation makes it difficult to keep on top of complex issues and debates and identify trustworthy and reliable information. To help, the Enterprise Research Centre is today launching a new… Read more

Supporting start-ups and local business

Start-ups are crucial to the growth of the UK economy, with nearly 600,000 companies established last year – but support is needed to sustain local businesses beyond the start-up phase. Growth of small business is an important part of driving economic progress and rebalancing the UK economy. The UK now has a larger number of… Read more

Design Economy 2018

Mark Hart and the ERC team were pleased to be involved in producing a large part of the statistical evidence as well as showing the connection between design & innovation – an established driver of productivity for the new Design Council report on the design economy launched by Greg Clark MP (Secretary of State for BEIS)… Read more

Europe-wide study on ‘shock-proof’ firms ahead of Brexit

 Two-year project will learn lessons from 3,000 of Europe’s most resilient firms to spread best practice  Focus on under-represented groups will seek to understand how entrepreneurs overcome barriers With 70% of European jobs in SMEs, study is seen as vital pre-Brexit to cushion economic fallout A new study on business resilience in five European countries will draw up… Read more

Micro-business Britain

‘Digital dividend’ productivity boost for UK’s micro firms • Biggest ever study of UK ‘micro-businesses’ (with 1-9 employees) shows big boosts to productivity from use of digital technologies • Doubling adoption could provide a ‘digital dividend’ boost to the economy worth £16.6bn • Research points way to boosting output of group of firms traditionally seen as ‘drag’ on… Read more

UK Growth Dashboard 2018

The UK Local Growth Dashboard has been developed by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) and builds on the LEP Growth Dashboard first launched in June 2014.  Its purpose is to present a set of growth metrics for start-ups and existing firms across a range of sub-national geographies in the UK with a specific focus on… Read more

State of Small Business Britain Report 2018

This is the report launched at the ERC’s Annual State of Small Business Britain Conference 2018. The report brings together a range of the latest data and insights on the growth and performance of UK SMEs. It sets out key SME trends based on a round-up of the latest research evidence including analysis of the… Read more

‘Micro-business Britain’ Research

The ERC has received some additional funding from the UK Government as a part of a broader £2 million programme of work to support the implementation of the industrial strategy. The programme, which is involving four ESRC-funded research investments, will lead to new insights on business growth, pay, skills and place. The ERC’s contribution will… Read more

Turbulent Times – Business as Usual: 4.5 million jobs created or destroyed in 12 months!

As the tortuously complex process of the UK’s departure from the EU takes another twist, Britain’s economy presents us with a deceptively simple conundrum. Yes, we have had record headline jobs growth in recent years coupled with falling unemployment.  There are, however, widespread concerns about the quality of those jobs caused by the growing ‘gig… Read more

Preparing for Brexit at the local level

In the aftermath of the EU referendum, there is an even greater focus on the performance of the private sector and its ability to provide jobs and wealth creating opportunities across all parts of the UK – especially at the local level – as the UK prepares for Brexit. ERC Deputy Director Mark Hart author… Read more

From Trump Towers to the White House

Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election could have consequences for the thousands of UK small and medium-sized businesses, especially as the US is the UK’s biggest export destination. During the campaign Trump made some remarks he may regret come January, but the general policy stance in terms of trade and industry is relatively clear:… Read more

Brexit for business?

Whether you regard today as a ‘new dawn’ or a ‘national tragedy’ short-term economic uncertainty is on the cards for us all. This is perhaps today’s only certainty. How effectively the UK can manage this uncertainty and then capitalise on the opportunities of life outside the EU will be crucial for future growth. In the… Read more

Nations and regions outpace London for high growth firms

News release NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR BROADCAST UNTIL 00.01 ON FRIDAY, 19 FEBRUARY 2016 19 February 2016 Number of high growth firms – seen as indicator of economic health – reaches nearly 12,000, highest level since the dotcom boom. The number of companies achieving high growth in the nations and regions of the UK is rising more than… Read more

Growth Dashboard Workshops.

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC)  in collaboration with GrowthAccelerator conducted a series of One day Workshops around the UK. LEP’s from all  Local Areas were invited  for discussion on the Growth Dashboard and its findings. The aim of the Workshops were to ensure that our  future work delivers some of what  LEP colleagues said they would find… Read more

THE BIG CITIES GROWTH DILEMMA

NEW DATA FROM ENTERPRISE RESEARCH CENTRE AND GROWTHACCELERATOR REVEALS START-UP SURVIVAL RATES ARE LOWEST IN BRITAIN’S BIG CITIES BUT CITY START-UPS THAT DO SURVIVE, GROW STRONGEST JUNE 10, 2014 – LONDON The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC), Britain’s foremost SME growth and entrepreneurship research centre, in partnership with GrowthAccelerator, has undertaken unique analysis of all 39 Local… Read more

 Rebuilding SME’s confidence to borrow

March 2014 A new report from the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) sheds more light on ‘discouraged borrowers’ – a previously under-explored group of SMEs who choose not to seek bank finance because they believe they will be unsuccessful. The report, ‘Back to Borrowing? Perspectives on the ‘Arc of Discouragement’, identifies a group of around  173,000… Read more

Social Benefits of Regulation (World Bank)

The World Bank have contracted with the Small Business Research Centre (SBRC) to provide input into their thinking around the ‘social benefits’ of regulation, to ensure their metrics on, for example, the cost of doing business are more rigorously constructed. Professor Mark Hart forms part of this research team. The invitation was prompted by a recent paper by the team on the ‘Burden or Benefit: Regulation as a dynamic influence on small business’ published in the International Small Business Journal.