The Report of the Committee of Inquiry on Small Firms (the Bolton Committee Report) was produced at a time of significant political change. The 1970s in the UK saw the beginning of the end for interventionism and ‘big government’ and the emergence of a new free market, economic liberalism. However, the same period also saw the creation of what became a substantial agenda to intervene in the economy through an extensive range of government initiatives aimed at encouraging and enabling small firms and entrepreneurship.
Marking the 50th Anniversary of the publication of the Bolton Committee’s report this book provides researchers with new insights into the tensions between these potentially contradictory political agendas that would come to shape our modern economy. It provides the first in-depth analysis of the origins, operation and outcomes of the Bolton Committee, which is widely seen as responsible for the small firm agenda in the UK. In doing so, new insights are generated not only into the birth of enterprise policy in the UK but into the wider changes in political economy that saw powerful tensions between free market rhetoric and new forms of interventionism in practice.
The book will be of interest to scholars and PhD students working in the fields of entrepreneurship, small business management and business history.
Table of Contents
1. Small business and big government 2. The small firm in the age of the giant enterprise 3. From little acorns: The origins and establishment of the Bolton Committee 4. Searching for answers: Listening to small firms and other stakeholders 5. Searching for answers: The Committee’s data collection effort 6. Small business and small government? 7. Recommending the future of enterprise policy: A less than dramatic response 8. Bolton 50 years on
Robert Wapshott is Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haydn Green Institute, University of Nottingham, UK.
Oliver Mallett is Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Stirling, UK.