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Book part
Publication date: 28 November 2019

Rob Wilson, Mike Martin and David Jamieson

Business support programmes are characterised by the combined efforts of government, industry, universities and businesses, among other institutions, as interventions…

Abstract

Business support programmes are characterised by the combined efforts of government, industry, universities and businesses, among other institutions, as interventions intended to contribute to the regions’ growth and economic development. In England, these programmes have been promoted by different governments under different names, the most recent historical incarnation being the regional Business link programmes which used an IDBT – information, diagnostic, brokerage and transaction – model under the auspices of the Regional Development Agencies (RDA) for over a decade. When the RDAs were replaced in 2010 by the establishment of 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England, a new programme for Business Support was initiated – Business Growth Hubs. This chapter briefly reviews the literature related with business support and an analysis of the Business Growth hub programme and the initial responses of LEPs across England. It then reports on a project the authors were engaged in which applied a sociotechnical system framing of the problem utilising a Living Lab model approach to change. This new approach was aimed at engaging the stakeholders in a co-creation process, with the LEP, to work with the ‘installed base’ of business support activities in a northern region of England, UK. This new approach allows for long-term planning based on the interests of the member of the network, rather than on often narrow, short-term prescriptive understandings and interests of the policy-makers or the organisations enacting such programmes. The implications of the model proposed contributes to the current debate on regional economic development about business support by proposing a change in the role of the businesses from merely customers, to potential co-producers of advice and services, based on developing a shared vision and better infrastructure for development of the region.

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The North East After Brexit: Impact and Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83909-009-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1998

Jonathan Lean

This paper examines the findings of a project to evaluate training and development support for micro businesses in a peripheral area. Results are based on questionnaire…

Abstract

This paper examines the findings of a project to evaluate training and development support for micro businesses in a peripheral area. Results are based on questionnaire surveys of young micro businesses in Devon and Cornwall plus interviews with both business owner‐managers and training/support providers. They suggest that existing support, both at start‐up and during the post start‐up period, does not adequately address the development needs of micro firms and, more particularly, the needs of the small proportion of micro firms with ambitions to grow. It is concluded that this in part reflects the customer focus of Business Link. Given the important role of micro firms in local economic development in peripheral areas, greater flexibility is required in the way that such businesses are dealt with within the Business Link framework.

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 22 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2008

Sibylle Heilbrunn and Nonna Kushnirovich

The purpose of this paper is to examine governmental support to immigrant entrepreneurs and its impact on their businesses. The study seeks to explore the needs of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine governmental support to immigrant entrepreneurs and its impact on their businesses. The study seeks to explore the needs of immigrant entrepreneurs as to government support schemes, and the impact of government policy upon mobilization of resources and growth of immigrant businesses.

Design/methodology/approach

Combining convenient and snowball sample, 218 former Soviet Union immigrant entrepreneurs from all over Israel and all business spheres were surveyed via a questionnaire. Data analysis was conducted by quantitative statistical methods.

Findings

Entrepreneurs who encountered more problems at business start‐up are more likely to receive government support. Receiving support facilitates mobilizing resources and compensates for fewer opportunities of initially weak businesses.

Research limitations/implications

Further research might focus upon comparing the impact of policy on immigrant entrepreneurs between countries. Utilization of the findings by policy makers may improve the impact of policy and help to focus the allocation of resources more efficiently.

Originality/value

The paper provides valuable insight for academics and practitioners who are interested to foster immigrant entrepreneurship as mechanism of economic integration.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Agne Prochorskaite

The purpose of this paper is to present a model of a university-led business support programme that ran in the West Midlands region of the UK. The initiative was designed…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a model of a university-led business support programme that ran in the West Midlands region of the UK. The initiative was designed with the specific aim of assisting businesses to grow into the renewable energy technology markets by engaging them in a spectrum of support activities. A distinctive form of university-industry collaboration was used in the implementation of the programme where the leadership and management roles were carried out by Staffordshire University, while technical consultancy was delivered by external industry experts. The effectiveness of this model is investigated through a survey of businesses assisted by the programme.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study first describes the design and rationale of the support programme and then goes on to present findings from a survey conducted with firms who part took in the support programme (41 per cent response rate, n=54).

Findings

Respondents’ overall satisfaction with the programme indicate that the university-business collaborative model worked well. However, the survey findings show that businesses preferred group-based activities over one-to-one, direct consultancy type of support. Results suggest that the overall effectiveness of the scheme could have been improved through greater industry focus and better management of companies’ expectations through clearer articulation of the programme's ability and scope for support.

Research limitations/implications

The survey was carried out with participating businesses only four months after the programme had ended, which may have limited the time for programme-related impacts to mature and/or materialise.

Practical implications

The presented model of university-led business support programme and recommendations can be of use to other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) as well as business organisations seeking to establish such collaborative initiatives.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discourse on university-industry relationships and the nature of business support programmes by presenting a “real-world” case study of a university-led business support initiative. The findings and recommendations may be of interest and use to researchers, HEIs, policy makers as well as business support and training organisations.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

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Book part
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Oliver Mallett

This chapter examines the interactions of formal and informal forms of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business support, characterised as interactions within an…

Abstract

This chapter examines the interactions of formal and informal forms of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) business support, characterised as interactions within an ‘enterprise industry’. An analysis of the interactions revealed in the existing literature for different forms of business support develops a new conceptual framework for understanding those varied forms of external influence targeted at SMEs that constitute and extend a ‘patchwork quilt’ of provision. This chapter focusses on how different forms of support and advice interact, the centrality of state influence and how such interactions can be considered part of a firm’s regulatory context. This conceptualisation allows the consideration of both business support and state regulations to move beyond conceptions of positive or negative impacts on factors such as firm growth. Instead, it establishes a conceptual lens for considering how the different forms of external influence can shape the practices and attitudes of SMEs and their owner-managers. Policy makers and organisations within the enterprise industry seeking to develop effective forms of support or regulation should not consider such activities in isolation or in simple, decontextualised positive or negative terms.

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Creating Entrepreneurial Space: Talking Through Multi-Voices, Reflections on Emerging Debates
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-577-1

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Alan Murray and Rosa Palladino

The main objective of this exploratory study is to analyze the range of human capitals necessary for the modern entrepreneur and the nature of the barriers to effectively…

Abstract

Purpose

The main objective of this exploratory study is to analyze the range of human capitals necessary for the modern entrepreneur and the nature of the barriers to effectively support the development of these capitals. Human capital is one of the three dimensions of intellectual capital and this document examines the role of education and training for entrepreneurial success.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a broad review of the main contributions to research and practice in the field of intellectual capital and entrepreneurship issues, we conducted a qualitative study using semi-structured in-depth interviews on a sample of 10 professionals expert in business support. They represent a cross section of the main corporate agencies in Scotland. In addition, an interview guide was used to ensure that some questions, or “key questions”, were asked to all participants, also allowing for the flexibility to obtain updated information.

Findings

The interviews identified 21 key human capitals needed by today's entrepreneurs. However, the study also identifies the existence of obstacles to providing effective support for the development of human capital in the entrepreneur in terms of attention, process and resources.

Research limitations/implications

Research limitations–The study is based on data collected by a sample of 10 professionals, according to a qualitative approach that focuses on a specific social field and therefore the results cannot be immediately generalized to other fields.

Practical implications

Practical implications–The study identifies the key human capital needed to run a successful company, directing the professional to direct support interventions more effectively in order to increase productivity and improve success rates for its customers.

Social implications

The value the long-term benefits of even a marginal increase in the efficiency of enterprise support to business through targeted entrepreneurial learning cannot be overstated.

Originality/value

There is a lack of empirical data linking the development of human capital and entrepreneurship. This work has resonance for providers of enterprise support seeking to remain relevant to the entrepreneurial development needs of the entrepreneur.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 8 October 2019

Diane Edmondson, Tim Graeff, Lucy Matthews, Don Roy, Raj Srivastava and Cheryl Ward

This study aims to examine consumers’ patriotism, attitudes toward veterans and attitudes and behaviors toward businesses that honor veterans. The goal is to determine if…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine consumers’ patriotism, attitudes toward veterans and attitudes and behaviors toward businesses that honor veterans. The goal is to determine if consumers are more or less likely to support businesses that offer veterans preferential treatment.

Design/methodology/approach

The conceptual model proposed is tested using an online survey with a nationwide sample. Data are analyzed using partial least squares structural equations modeling.

Findings

Results indicate that consumer attitudes toward businesses that honor veterans fully mediate the impact of consumer attitudes toward veterans on behavioral intentions. This suggests that veterans’ discounts or preferential treatments are viewed as a viable means by which consumers can show their support for veterans. Further, results reveal that patriotism has a direct effect on consumers’ behavioral intentions toward businesses that honor veterans.

Practical implications

Businesses routinely offer discounts targeted to specific consumers, such as the elderly and children. These results show that providing discounts to veterans can offer multiple benefits to businesses as well. Positive attitudes toward businesses that honor veterans can lead to positive behavioral intentions from consumers who seek to support veterans.

Originality/value

Despite the existence of businesses honoring veterans by providing discounts or preferential treatment, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, little to no research has investigated the impact that these discounts provide to businesses.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 25 October 2011

Karen Bill and Clare Rhoden

As a generalisation, the sports industry is a multifaceted, complex and diverse industry, perhaps making it difficult to offer business support and advice. This paper aims…

Abstract

Purpose

As a generalisation, the sports industry is a multifaceted, complex and diverse industry, perhaps making it difficult to offer business support and advice. This paper aims to identify and analyse, through sport and recreation business owners, their experience of business support and advice. The study can therefore be seen as contributing to related studies by Mole et al. and responding to Pawson and Tilley's request for a more nuanced view of how public‐support programmes work.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, collective case study design is adopted. Three in‐depth semi‐structured interviews with Directors of Sport Businesses were undertaken to identify business support in the West Midlands Sports sector. Interviews focused on business development, the support and advice directors received and the future direction of their business. Interviews were analysed using inductive and deductive content analysis.

Findings

The findings from the case studies highlight a variety of general support and advice mechanisms, e.g. Women's Business Development Agency, with differences in regional provision evident. One strong emerging theme indicates that specialised business support occurs which appears critical but ad hoc.

Originality/value

This paper considers the specific business support needs in a largely unreported, yet growing sports sector (based upon a demand led inquiry) into existing providers and business recipients. These findings are pertinent for various organisations such as policy makers, small business support agencies, as well as sports businesses themselves; as they seek to both identify specific sector support needs and evaluate existing practice.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2019

Sara Csillag, Zsuzsanna Gyori and Carmen Svastics

The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the barriers entrepreneurs with disabilities (EWD) face when establishing their own enterprises, as well as the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and analyse the barriers entrepreneurs with disabilities (EWD) face when establishing their own enterprises, as well as the supporting factors in starting and running a business.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an explorative study. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews with ten Hungarian entrepreneurs with physical disabilities or sight-loss, during the summer of 2018.

Findings

The paper classifies the barriers and supporting factors, as personal, economic and social. Based on the perceptions of the entrepreneurs, personal characteristics, identity and various types of family support play an important role in becoming entrepreneurs, but the entrepreneurial ecosystem generally is not favourable in Hungary, and there are no special support programmes focussing on EWD.

Research limitations/implications

Sample size is a serious limitation: the ten entrepreneurs do not represent in any sense the entire EWD community in Hungary, so the patterns found cannot be considered a generally valid picture.

Originality/value

The article contributes to the literature on entrepreneurship and disabilities, especially through the systematic review of the possible barriers and supporting factors and to the existing empirical body of knowledge by shedding light on the barriers and supporting factors in a rarely investigated region, in Central Europe: Hungary.

Details

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, vol. 13 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6204

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2012

Joan Lockyer and Sharon George

The purpose of this paper is to explore the barriers that inhibit the development of female entrepreneurship in the West Midlands. This region is characterised by…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the barriers that inhibit the development of female entrepreneurship in the West Midlands. This region is characterised by pronounced low levels of participation in higher education and entrepreneurship. With the support of funding from the Lifelong Learning Network (LLN), the paper contributes to a re‐evaluation of the current support available to women entrepreneurs and informs and aligns the provision of services to the needs of women across the region and beyond.

Design/methodology/approach

A study was commissioned by the LLN to identify the main barriers to female entrepreneurship in the Staffordshire, Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire areas. The main business support provision available to assist female entrepreneurs in June 2009 was mapped and these data were used in an online questionnaire to identify the level of awareness of this support provision amongst women in the target area, as part of the larger pilot study. An extensive online questionnaire consisting of 44 questions was designed in Version 1.82 of LimeSurvey, an open source PHP based survey tool. The survey was designed to capture information on the relationship between aspirations to start a business, demographic information, past experience of entrepreneurship, current skills levels, perceived barriers and knowledge of current business support provision.

Findings

Whilst for many women accessibility to training was a major issue, an area of greater concern was found to be financial risk and the belief that women are less likely to start a business if they have a friend or family member with a business. The research findings suggested that even vicarious exposure to the pressures of running a business was a positive deterrent to entrepreneurship.

Social implications

The research findings suggest that the mechanisms (business support agencies) through which information and support are provided to potential entrepreneurs needs to be reviewed. This preliminary research suggests that the existing infrastructure is inadequate and as business support is becoming more streamlined as a result of the public sector spending review, it could inform the nature and range of support provided to women entrepreneurs within the region and beyond.

Originality/value

In addition to contributing to development of strategy within the region, the authors feel that the research could have wider implication for regions with a similar economic profile to the West Midlands.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

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