Given last week’s government announcement of the stimulus bill meant to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the UK economy, it is important to recognise the implications for women broadly, and self-employed women more specifically. Such bills are notoriously gender blind, thus discounting the impact on the extent to which self-employed women are… Read more
The ERC is leading a 2-year European study on SME resilience, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. This is a landmark project that is focusing on the resilience of new and small firms and early-stage entrepreneurs in underrepresented communities.
The study involves research in five EU economies (UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy), with research being undertaken in key cities in each of these countries (London, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan and Madrid). The study is exploring the specific challenges (and potential opportunities) facing business leaders from underrepresented groups.
The aim of the research is to provide a detailed understanding of these challenges and how they vary across different groups of business owners, and to identify tailored tools and interventions that can help to build more resilient businesses.
Major new study of 2,975 small businesses across five European cities, supported by J.P. Morgan, finds one-third have experienced a threat to their survival in the past five years. Despite this, crisis planning is not widely undertaken by small businesses, which struggle to identify the most potent sources of business disruption Firms run by women… Read more
Equipping under-represented SME leaders with the skills and resources to identify and plan for key future risks will not only improve their firms’ resilience – it will also deliver ongoing wider economic benefits. These are some of the takeaways from our latest research report, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation – Building resilience in under-represented… Read more
• New study by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) of 600 London firms finds 48% of businesses run by ethnic minority leaders suffered a major crisis in past five years. • Data on different types of entrepreneur provides basis for new toolkit to help businesses become more resilient to threats. • With Brexit uncertainty continuing, study hopes to… Read more
Having a daughter can be a delight. I should know I have two. It turns out however that having a daughter is not only a delight but that it can also have a significant effect on the decisions we make about how we run our organisations and businesses. A fascinating new research paper describes what… Read more
• People from ethnic minority backgrounds and immigrants to UK are twice as likely to be early-stage entrepreneurs • New Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) findings show gap has widened sharply since financial crisis of 2008 • Women, younger people, ethnic minority groups and migrants more likely to be motivated by ‘creating meaning’ as well as making money when… Read more
• Europe-wide study by the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) to find out what makes small and medium-sized businesses good in a crisis • Researchers from Aston and Warwick business schools to lead the study, supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation 5 February 2018 | Birmingham, UK. An international study of small and medium-sized firms has been launched… Read more
The impact of migration on the UK jobs market was a major theme of the Brexit debate. The effects of migration, despite their oversimplification in that debate, are, complex. Migrants may have taken jobs that would otherwise have gone to long-term UK residents and as a consequence helped create a climate of distrust in many… Read more
New report reveals immigrants eye for business Immigrants are more likely to start their own business than people born and brought up in the UK, according to new figures. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) UK Report, published [12th May], analysed early-stage start-up activity as part of an in-depth study into entrepreneurial trends, attitudes and aspirations… Read more
This research theme attempts to increase the participation rates of under-represented groups in enterprise and to increase the growth rates and ambitions of their entrepreneurial ventures have to date resulted in only modest changes.
Why is this? The research explores the drivers and barriers to business development and growth among diverse social groups with a focus on the inter-relationship between individuals’ entrepreneurial decision making and their household context. The WP draws on the innovative Enterprise Diversity Alliance (EDA) to develop productive relationships between the finance sector and businesses from under-represented groups, and enhance the support available for such enterprises.
Initial work on this theme has focussed primarily on a review of existing research relating to diverse enterprises and an analysis of existing data sources related to diverse enterprises and more specifically the SME Finance Monitor.
Women-led businesses perceive higher financial barriers, start with lower capitalisation, may have stronger debt aversion and are more likely to be discouraged borrowers. No evidence of supply side discrimination. Sectoral and management challenges also exist for women-led businesses. 
Household level influences have received limited attention in entrepreneurship and SME research. Insights from sociology and anthropology are potentially valuable.
Social context is an important driver of entrepreneurship amongst minority groups; entrepreneurship in turn can be a significant driver of socio-economic advancement.
Borrowers can be divided into six distinct groups: existing borrowers; new and renewed borrowers and declined borrowers (Expressed Demand); unfulfilled borrowers (Unfulfilled Demand); discouraged borrowers; and indifferent non-borrowers (Latent Demand).
Differences in finance outcomes are largely, but not entirely, a consequence of underlying structural factors that lead women-owned and ethnic minority businesses (EMB) businesses to present a particular set of characteristics. Coupled with the marked gender and ethnic dimension to financial track records which inform risk ratings, these structural effects influence finance outcomes for many diverse enterprises.
Prof Sara Carter continues her engagement with the development of the policy framework for women’s enterprise for Scotland. This led to a draft framework “Women in Enterprise”, co-authored by Sara Carter which was launched by Scottish Government Minister Angela Constance at the Women’s Business and Enterprise Conference in Glasgow on 9th May 2013. The framework is available at: http://www.wescotland.co.uk/launch-of-the-scottish-framework-for-womens-enterprise. Subsequent meetings to discuss implementation have been held with John Swinney, SE, HIE and Business Gateway. The recommendations are similar to those highlighted by the Women’s Business Council report and produced by the UK Government Equalities Office, who are in regular contact with Sara Carter.
EMB and the EDA
ERC engagement with EMB businesses has largely been through the EDA which has held various events during 2013. On 21st March 2103 in Birmingham, Putting Diversity & Enterprise on the Map, which informed attendees about: new research initiatives to support small firms; the EDA’s work with minority business communities; and how they can get involved with the EDA and ERC. A similar event was held in Glasgow on 2nd May 2013 to introduce participants to the EDA and the ERC and discuss possibilities of launching an EDA in Scotland. As a consequence of the EDA’s outreach activities, Kiran Trehan was invited to join the Evidence and Data Task and Finish group by the Enterprise Directorate Department for Business Innovation and Skills and the Mentorsme Enterprise Mentoring Advisory Council (EMAC),. On 23rd July 2013, the LEP network published an article about the work of the EDA: http://lepnetwork.org.uk/enterprise-and-diversity-alliance-make-offer-to-leps.html
Entrepreneurship as Ethnic Minority Liberation (Research Paper No 11)
This paper explores to what extent ethnic minority entrepreneurship promote socio-economic advancement?
This research theme attempts to increase the participation rates of under-represented groups in enterprise and to increase the growth rates and ambitions of their entrepreneurial ventures, which have to date resulted in only modest changes.
Why is this? The research explores the drivers and barriers to business development and growth among diverse social groups with a focus on the inter-relationship between individuals’ entrepreneurial decision making and their household context. Find out more.
Meet the Team
The research on Diversity is led by Prof Sara Carter OBE with support from Professors Monder Ram OBE, Kiran Trehan and Drs Drew Gertner and Sam Mwaura. The research team is split between Strathclyde and Birmingham Business Schools. Each centre is taking the lead for a particular business population. At Strathclyde, the focus has been on developing policy and practice relationships around women-owned businesses; in Birmingham, the focus has been primarily on developing work around Ethnic Minority Businesses.