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Article
Publication date: 28 March 2008

Marilia Angove, Caryl Cresswell, Rubina Akhtar, Justine Rolfe, David Brooksbank and Brychan Thomas

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the Cyfenter Development Partnership action research programme primarily aimed at under‐represented entrepreneurs in Wales. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the Cyfenter Development Partnership action research programme primarily aimed at under‐represented entrepreneurs in Wales. The Welsh Assembly Government and the EQUAL initiative of the European Social Fund support the programme with the objective of informing and developing inclusive policies, strategies and practices within mainstream enterprise support.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used to identify the needs of under‐represented groups when establishing a business and barriers to the start‐up process has been action research, which combines both information gathering and facilitation of change.

Findings

The research data indicate that all under‐represented groups face similar challenges and issues and many experiences are not exclusive to any one particular group. Financial risk, lack of collateral and self‐finance were significant issues for the under‐represented groups.

Research limitations/implications

Although the overall response rate of 12 per cent for the telephone and postal surveys was low, it was felt that the responses were sufficient for the study to proceed as further qualitative data gathering was undertaken.

Practical implications

Through the empowerment of excluded entrepreneurs, to express and suggest potential solutions, it is expected that policies and practices can be leveraged where enterprise support can become more relevant and appropriate for all. It is also expected that this will lead a greater number of under‐represented entrepreneurs to access mainstream enterprise support.

Originality/value

A key objective of the programme is to create and facilitate a platform for direct communication between under‐represented groups, policy makers and enterprise support provision, within a solutions‐oriented context.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Caleb C.Y. Kwong, Piers Thompson, Dylan Jones‐Evans and David Brooksbank

The purpose of this paper is to compare the entrepreneurial activity, attitudes and social connections of four groups of ethnic minority females in the UK, with the aim of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to compare the entrepreneurial activity, attitudes and social connections of four groups of ethnic minority females in the UK, with the aim of examining the extent of gender and ethnic background effects on nascent start‐up activities and the attitudes of women belonging to these ethnic minority groups.

Design/methodology/approach

A two‐stage approach is adopted to examine the situations of four main female ethnic minority groups using data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) adult population survey for the UK. The first stage adopts a binary logistic approach to determine the importance of social networks, opportunity perception and risk aversion to the probability of being involved in nascent entrepreneurial activities. The second stage of analysis examines the differences in these perceptual variables to determine the extent to which different female ethnic minority groups are embedded in different social environments when attempting to start a business.

Findings

There are considerable differences amongst different ethnic groups in the level of entrepreneurial activity by women, their attitudes towards entrepreneurship, and the social capital available to them when starting a business.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that policy makers should take the differences by ethnic groupings into account when developing bespoke development policies designed to alleviate the barriers faced by women.

Originality/value

The paper is one of the first comparative studies focusing on women from different ethnic backgrounds. Rather than assuming homogeneity, or examining specific groups in isolation it allows the different conditions faced by prospective entrepreneurs from each group to be examined.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Gary Packham, David Brooksbank, Christopher Miller and Brychan Thomas

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper proposes that owner‐managers of growth firms are more likely to have developed or acquired managerial practices that facilitate such expansion. The paper, therefore, examines how growth oriented firms in Wales have adopted management practices to build the necessary entrepreneurial capacity to sustain growth.

Design/methodology/approach

A group interview technique was utilised to examine the management development process in 18 growing firms across the manufacturing, construction sectors.

Findings

The research highlighted that whilst firms argued that the management practices they had implemented were to facilitate further growth, the relative importance of practices such as marketing, financial management and planning varied across sectors. Furthermore, it was apparent that growth firms identified in this study were more inclined to look at the adoption of management practices from a strategic perspective.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory nature of this study means that it is difficult to generalise these findings outside the boundaries of the adopted research strategy. In addition, links between performance and managerial action are always very difficult to demonstrate conclusively as this process is often dependent on owner‐managers recounting and recognising cause and effect relationships. Nevertheless, the study does strengthen existing academic argument that key management practices outlined in this paper are regularly adopted by growing firms.

Practical implications

The findings will assist policy makers and owner/managers with regard to identifying and understanding why certain management practices engender small business growth.

Originality/value

The paper adds its support to the growing literature which examines the process of management development in small growth firms. Moreover, given Wales' current dearth of growth oriented firms, the paper implies that policy makers should support training and initiatives that develop entrepreneurial and managerial competencies that are industry specific.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Brychan Thomas, Gary Packham, Christopher Miller and David Brooksbank

To stay at the forefront of new technology, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) can be assisted through Internet and Web sites providing innovation and technology…

Abstract

To stay at the forefront of new technology, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) can be assisted through Internet and Web sites providing innovation and technology support services. The cost of the latest technology, including hardware, training and personnel, however, can be insurmountable for SMEs with limited financial and technological resources. The business support community in Wales is continually evolving its own Internet and Web site offerings to make sure that businesses, especially SMEs, are kept abreast of the latest innovations, most productive methods and provision of support services. Considers the provision of Web‐based innovation and technology support in Wales and examines its coverage in relation to Welsh SMEs. Utilises a range of data collection techniques including interviews with policy makers and the analysis of reports and Internet sites.

Details

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1462-6004

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 February 2007

Keith Crosier

Abstract

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2001

Adrian Sparkes, Brychan Thomas, Nick Clifton and Marco Rosales

A major challenge facing Welsh speciality Small and Medium‐sized Agri‐food Enterprises (SMAFEs) is how to sustain growth in a global market. This can be enhanced through…

Abstract

A major challenge facing Welsh speciality Small and Medium‐sized Agri‐food Enterprises (SMAFEs) is how to sustain growth in a global market. This can be enhanced through e‐commerce and the marketing of product through the Internet to an international audience. Recent research carried out by the Welsh Enterprise Institute (WEI) found that there may only be 10 per cent of Welsh SMAFEs using the Internet for this purpose. The challenge, therefore, is how to enable SMAFEs to market effectively their products; to put these small firms not only in contact with local markets but also international markets; to ensure a range of “authentic” food products is available to Welsh communities in other countries and those people with affinity to “all things Welsh”; and to establish channels that facilitate repeat purchase by visitors to Wales. This challenge can be responded to by enabling SMAFEs to gain access to the Internet and to be confidence in its use, to develop “user friendly” Web sites, to link to overseas markets through the Internet, and to establish a long‐term customer base. The WEI has undertaken a two stage survey to measure SMAFE usage of e‐mail and the Internet in Wales. The buying habits of Welsh Affinity Groups (WAGs) on the Internet in the USA, Canada and other countries has also been studied and it is planned to establish network links between the SMAFEs and the WAGs, and communities overseas. This paper describes the survey of SMAFEs in Wales and reports on the analysis of the findings together with recommendations for the establishment of a comprehensive Welsh food portal. This is related to the study of the WAGs in the USA and Canada and a proposal for the development of a virtual “market place” between the SMAFEs and the WAGs is explored. The WEI has joined forces with Web design companies WebAware and MAWR Ltd., to offer high quality consultancy and advice to provide Web site and e‐commerce solutions relevant to SMAFEs to create an anticipated multi‐million pound net gain to Wales and the Welsh Agri‐food sector through world‐wide sales. A Welsh food portal is therefore of immense importance as a marketing entrepreneurship interfacing tool not only to Agri‐food enterprises in Wales but also to customers from across the World. The paper concludes by arguing for the need for appropriate support to be provided for speciality Welsh SMAFEs to make them aware of the importance of the adoption of e‐commerce including the Internet and Web sites. This paper is a version of one that has been published in the International Journal of Applied Marketing, published by International Marketing Journals, ISSN: 1742‐2612.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

Roger Brooksbank, David Kirby and David Taylor

For many years scholars of marketing have advocated the importance of marketing as a key determinant of business performance, and particularly for small and medium‐sized…

Abstract

For many years scholars of marketing have advocated the importance of marketing as a key determinant of business performance, and particularly for small and medium‐sized enterprises. In the UK, efforts have been made to translate theory into practice in an attempt to improve the competitiveness of the country's small and medium‐sized enterprises. Indeed, since the mid‐1980s, it has been a matter of government policy that a considerable emphasis be placed on seeking to improve the marketing performance of small‐ and medium‐sized firms. Thus, this article examines the marketing activities of a sample of 42 medium‐sized manufacturing firms over a ten‐year period. It reveals that the 42 firms known to have survived the economic exigencies of the decade were amongst the most market oriented of those surveyed in 1987, and that they have embraced both the substance and trappings of marketing.

Details

European Business Review, vol. 16 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-534X

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Roger Brooksbank, David A. Kirby, David Taylor and Dylan Jones‐Evans

Many studies have highlighted the important role that marketing plays in contributing to a firm’s competitive success. In most cases, however, research has focused on…

Abstract

Many studies have highlighted the important role that marketing plays in contributing to a firm’s competitive success. In most cases, however, research has focused on either large businesses, or, to a lesser extent, very small businesses, essentially ignoring the many “medium‐sized” firms in between. Thus, this paper aims to assess, in quantitative terms, both the extent to which marketing has been adopted, and the rate of its adoption between 1987 and 1992 within UK medium‐sized manufacturing firms. The investigation is based on a mail survey, conducted in 1987, of 231 companies, which was repeated in 1992, resulting in the analysis of a matched sample of 81 firms. The survey suggests that although most businesses claim to be considerably marketing‐oriented in their overall business philosophy, they do not necessarily “practise what they preach”. Further, it shows that the state‐of‐the‐marketing‐art changed little during the five‐year period and raises questions about the evolution of marketing in small and medium‐sized enterprises and about the extent to which the normative models of marketing practice are applicable to smaller firms.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 33 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2007

Roger Brooksbank and David Taylor

To contrast the role and practical application of strategic marketing in higher and lower‐performing firms.

Abstract

Purpose

To contrast the role and practical application of strategic marketing in higher and lower‐performing firms.

Design/methodology/approach

In‐depth personal interviews with senior marketing executives in three matched high/low performing manufacturing firms in the UK were recorded, transcribed and analysed. The interview agenda was derived from the authors' own previous research studies, plus precedents in the literature.

Findings

These are structured around four key strategic marketing activities previously found to be characteristic of higher performing firms. They clearly show that such companies implement them with a far greater degree of skill, sophistication and ingenuity than do their lower performing counterparts. Above all, for the higher performers, strategic marketing is a truly cross‐functional activity.

Research limitations/implications

The methodology of this study indicates a fruitful approach to further research aimed at extending and refining the findings and recommendations, though details requiring methodological attention are identified.

Originality/value

As an aid to marketing practitioners and educators alike, these findings and conclusions identify and describes a number of specific, applicable characteristics of successful strategic marketing.

Details

Marketing Intelligence & Planning, vol. 25 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-4503

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Article
Publication date: 4 July 2008

Guo Huan, Roger Brooksbank, David Taylor and Patrycia Babbis

This article aims to examine the extent to which Western World “textbook” strategic marketing is being practised within Chinese manufacturing companies as well as its…

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to examine the extent to which Western World “textbook” strategic marketing is being practised within Chinese manufacturing companies as well as its contribution to competitive success.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by means of a web‐based survey. A total of 89 usable questionnaires were received from Chinese manufacturing firms employing at least 50 people. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS.

Findings

The results confirm that, on the whole, the basic strategic marketing practices which are typically advocated in the mainstream Western academic and prescriptive literature are being widely practised within Chinese manufacturing companies. The results also show the higher performing firms are clearly differentiated from their lower performing counterparts by doing more and better marketing.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the relatively low response rate, one limitation is the extent to which the sample is representative of the population under scrutiny. Also, in spite of the questionnaire being back translated, some misunderstanding of the questions cannot be ruled out. Originality/value – The paper confirms that Western strategic marketing practices are clearly associated with the higher performing Chinese manufacturing companies.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

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