From a literature review and a comprehensive survey aims to analyze how small to medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) use existing support systems. The analysis is specifically on focusing different size groups within the SME category, the role of industrial sector, and regional location.
The combination of macro‐economic theory and entrepreneurial perspectives constitutes the theoretical framework for this study. Empirical data are collected via a survey to over 1,000 Swedish SMEs with one to 49 employees, from both manufacturing and service industries, and from three different regions. Descriptive as well as multivariate statistical techniques are used in the analysis.
The results indicate low participation rates of available support services and the largest manufacturing companies with a location in sparsely populated areas are the most frequent users. Vague arguments from neo‐classical theory and lack of clarity in definitions of small firms pose an obstacle to the production of empirical results as well as theoretical development. Support users are mainly positive to the services and, although the “take‐up rate” has increased in recent years, a better match between demand and supply of support services must be undertaken.
This paper gives understanding of how the business support programs are received among small companies. The results generated via a large sample size, 1,022 companies, combined with theoretical considerations, give a solid platform for research and policy conclusions.
Boter, H. and Lundström, A. (2005), "SME perspectives on business support services: The role of company size, industry and location", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 244-258. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626000510594638Download as .RIS
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