The failure rate of small firms in the UK is high, but there is little reliable evidence as to what factors account for success or failure in small businesses. Lending organizations have adopted a set of criteria that they use to evaluate new business proposals. One lending organization sponsored a research project with the object of identifying whether a general set of competences could be found which were associated with effective performance in the region. Describes the setting up and findings of the research, and identifies the competences that were found.
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