This study investigates motivators and inhibitors of entrepreneurship and small business development in the transitional economy of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. A…
This study investigates motivators and inhibitors of entrepreneurship and small business development in the transitional economy of Kazakhstan in Central Asia. A qualitative research was used to obtain a macro view of developing entrepreneurship and small business in Kazakhstan. A focus group interview with entrepreneurs and small business owners was conducted during 2006. In general, factors that enhance entrepreneurship and small business development include encouraging social entrepreneurship, increasing credits availability, improving institutional environment and supports from international organisations. Selected policy and practical implications are identified, such as improving institutional development, creating supportive business environment, and promoting social entrepreneurship.
The development of small firms tends to follow certain growth patterns usually referred to as business growth models. This paper reports on the conceptualisation of a…
The development of small firms tends to follow certain growth patterns usually referred to as business growth models. This paper reports on the conceptualisation of a “problem‐based phenomenological life cycle model”, which delineates the growth pattern of micro and small manufacturing firms in Cyprus. The empirically validated model offers guidance to small business managers, financiers and advisers as to the challenges and growth complexities accompanying the transitions taking place in small businesses as they develop along their organisational life cycle. Enhanced understanding of the barriers to the development of small business contributes to the better design of policy initiatives that seek to foster the survival, sustainable growth and prosperity of small enterprises.
The context in which changing small business needs and the impact of government policies are making new demands on trainers are reviewed. The performance of the SME sector…
The context in which changing small business needs and the impact of government policies are making new demands on trainers are reviewed. The performance of the SME sector as a whole, and the survival and competitiveness of individual firms, are factors of critical importance in both developed and developing economies. This is recognised by the UK Government, which is adopting measures designed to stimulate the take‐up of services designed for the support of small firms. Thus, the SME sector offers a potentially large and relatively unexploited market for business trainers in which demand depends on the relevance of the supply of training as perceived by owner‐managers. The key to this market is the competence of small business trainers to design and deliver relevant products. This is an important determinant of the choice and quality of the support on offer to owner‐managers. An indicative survey of small business trainers in the UK shows that they themselves recognise a need to enhance their competence in both the design and delivery of products through continued professional development. The way forward for the professional development of trainers is discussed.
The start of the second decade after the transformation process began is an appropriate time to reflect on some of the emerging policy issues affecting small business…
The start of the second decade after the transformation process began is an appropriate time to reflect on some of the emerging policy issues affecting small business development. While emphasising that setting up, operating and developing businesses results from the creativity, drive and commitment of individuals, rather than as a result of government actions, the conditions that enable and/or constrain entrepreneurship are affected by the wider social, economic and institutional context, over which the state has a major influence. In this regard, a key point to stress is the variety of ways in which government can affect the nature, extent and pace of small business development in an economy, rather than narrowly focusing on direct support measures. As a result, when considering the question of policies to support small business development, it is necessary to consider the implications of a range of government policies, institutions and actions for the environment in which small businesses can develop, instead of just focusing on direct interventions that are specifically targeted at small businesses. This is because any benefits accruing from the latter may be more than outweighed by the negative effects of other government policies and actions and those of state institutions. This applies in mature market-based economies as well as in those at various stages of transition, although the transition context typically adds further dimensions.
The support for local initiatives by large organisations has become substantially institutionalised in the UK through Business in the Community. How much further it will…
The support for local initiatives by large organisations has become substantially institutionalised in the UK through Business in the Community. How much further it will go, and how much it will be supported by government, is the subject of debate and conjecture. An overview of how large firms support small and medium enterprise development — the motivations and how they are changing — is provided. The problems in evaluation and a case study of Shell UK Ltd are provided, and future directions, possible shifts and influences are considered.
The paper proffers a tentative conceptualisation of the “small business strategic learning process”, demonstrating the complexity of the small firm learning and management task. The framework, built upon personal construct theory and learning theories, is elaborated through the grounding of relevant areas of the strategic management literature in an understanding of the distinctive managerial and behavioural features of the small business. The framework is then utilised to underpin consideration of the concepts of “organisational learning” and the “learning organisation” within a small firm developmental context. It is suggested that whilst organisational learning may be a key and effective small business management approach to underpin sustainable development, the learning organisation, as currently conceived in the mainstream literature, fails to recognise and address the idiosyncrasies, problems and constraints relating to sustainable small business development. There does appear, however, to be great potential for extending understanding of the learning organisation concept into the small business context. An indicative research agenda is suggested.
Family‐owned small businesses constitute a large proportion of the overall small business population of industrially developed and developing countries. A great deal of…
Family‐owned small businesses constitute a large proportion of the overall small business population of industrially developed and developing countries. A great deal of theoretical and practical knowledge exists on various aspects of small business growth and development, including: management, marketing, finance, production, research and development. There exists, however, a paucity of comparative research on the training and HRD strategies of small family and non‐family businesses. This article sets out to redress this imbalance in current small business research. It outlines the preliminary results of a recent study that focused on the training and HRD needs of a randomly selected sample of 6,000 small businesses in Great Britain. The data shows that there are considerable differences in owner/manager attitudes and approaches towards the training needs of family members employed in a business as compared to non‐family employees. The results suggest that these differences could have a significant influence upon the competitive strategies of family and non‐family owned small businesses in the UK.
This paper is concerned with the learning needs of managers in SMEs that seek to become progressively international. A particular focus of attention is the informal…
This paper is concerned with the learning needs of managers in SMEs that seek to become progressively international. A particular focus of attention is the informal learning practices that occur within the economic and social networks utilised by managers in this sector. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches to data collection, the paper investigates the challenges perceived by managers engaged (or seeking to engage) in international activity. The results suggest three main areas of challenge: first, the early “pre‐internationalisation” stage, when decisions about “whether”, “where” or “how” to internationalise are taken; secondly, the development of longer‐term planning processes and business systems to cope with the consequences of the initial internationalisation decision; thirdly, the challenge of regulatory issues and the need to secure payment and manage foreign intermediaries. Further areas of learning need, which depend on the significance of international business for the firm, are also indicated. Existing structures, cultures and approaches to management can be maintained for many SMEs that undertake some limited international activity. Where international business is a more important factor, however, managers need to develop cultural appreciation and empathy to underpin their expertise and consolidate their market position. Indeed, sustained international development may require a significant reorienting of the business, underpinned by management and organisational learning to develop an appropriate international “mind‐set” that supports the effective development of relationships with stakeholders in different countries.
This explorative paper considers the recent developments in the emerging small family business sector in post‐reform China as the country embraces socio‐economic and…
This explorative paper considers the recent developments in the emerging small family business sector in post‐reform China as the country embraces socio‐economic and structural transition from a centrally planned to a market‐orientated system. The important contributions that Chinese small family firms play in the acceleration of private sector development across the social and industrial sectors as well as the geographic boundaries of the Pacific Rim are highlighted. The authors propose typologies of Chinese entrepreneurship and tentative enterprise policy recommendations for the future development of small private family businesses in China.