Recent decades have seen substantial growth in the range of assistance programmes for SMEs and entrepreneurs across the world. Once regarded as peripheral to the economy and public policy, the role of small firms and of entrepreneurship is now recognized as of key importance in the economic growth and development strategies of many nations. The range of interventions and support focused on promoting SMEs and entrepreneurship is substantial and expanding, so Government, SMEs and Entrepreneurship Development asks ’what are some of the main policy instruments being used, and how effective are they?’ It considers policies in different countries, examines key interventions and tools used to promote entrepreneurship and SME development and concludes with contributions on how to best evaluate their effectiveness. The contributor chapters by academics and practitioners from businesses, enterprise development agencies and governments, are empirical or evidence-based and use both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Drawing on experience from a wide range of both developed and emerging countries and economies, the contributions focus on the broad strategies that different governments and communities have adopted to foster entrepreneurship and SMEs; the policy tools and instruments that can be used to promote small business and entrepreneurship; and on the outcomes of policy instruments and the methods used to evaluate interventions. Their findings will help researchers, policy-makers, economic development officers, civil servants, elected officials, and business associations to better understand the issues in this important field.
Professor Robert Blackburn is Director of the Small Business Research Centre, Kingston University, UK. Robert has a wealth of experience researching entrepreneurship and SMEs including projects for the UK Treasury, the European Union, OECD and Barclays and HSBC banks. He is editor in chief of the International Small Business Journal and has published five books. Dr Michael Schaper is an Adjunct Professor at Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia. He is a deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and was previously Small Business Commissioner for the Australian Capital Territory. Dr Schaper has been President of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand, and a director of the International Council for Small Business.
’While SMEs and entrepreneurship have recently been identified as a key engine for economic development, the implications for public policy have remained elusive. In this important new book Robert Blackburn and Michael T. Schaper break new ground by providing a blueprint for entrepreneurship policy. This book is a must read for scholars and policy makers concerned with how entrepreneurship can best be harnessed to spur economic growth.’ David Audretsch, Indiana University, USA ’In a globally changing landscape characterised by enhanced competitive pressures, the role of effective entrepreneurship and SME policy has never been more important. This book stimulates debate and encourages exchange of ideas between policymakers, practitioners and academics. It ultimately contributes to a more creative policy environment.’ Thierry Volery, Professor and Director, Swiss Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, University of St. Gallen, Switzerland