To what extent can governments supplement private venture capitalists and stimulate the economy by providing money to new entrepreneurs as well as existing enterprises? The UK’s National Enterprise Board (NEB) attempted to do just this, and whilst it gained most publicity through its efforts to bail out ailing giants such as British Leyland and Rolls Royce Aerospace, much of its attention was actually directed to smaller ventures. Originally published in 1988 Professor Kramer reports that the NEB’s record of success was surprisingly good, and that many flourishing undertakings would not be in business today had it not been for the NEB’s efforts. The author goes further, and after discussing the political and economic issues involved in according public aid to private enterprises on a case by case basis, he argues that not only should the UK revive its NEB, but that other countries, notably the United States, could benefit by establishing their own versions of it. Indeed, throughout, the author’s perspective as an outsider makes him peculiarly alive to the relevance of the UK example to a whole range of international cases.
As the first scholarly, full-length study of the NEB, this book will be of value to those interested in the relationships between venture capitalists generally and the enterprises in which they take equity. It will also interest those studying the relationship between holding companies and their subsidiaries.
Foreword. 1. Introduction: The Rise and Fall of the NEB 2. The NEB’s Profit-and-Loss Record 3. Obstacles Faced by NEB not Confronting Private Venture Capitalists 4. The Board Wraps Itself in a Cloud of Mystery: Additional Parliamentary Tribulations of a Public Venture Capitalist 5. The NEB and the Department of Industry 6. Firms Aided by the NEB as Venture Capitalist: Case Studies 7. Highlights of the Case Studies 8. Inmos 9. The Insac Debacle 10. The Nexos Disaster 11. Alfred Herbert 12. Fairey and Ferranti 13. Rolls Royce 14. British Leyland 15. The NEB and the Ministry of Defence 16. Is an NEB Now Needed in the United Kingdom? 17. Does the US Need an NEB? 18. Government Subsidies to Specific Firms: An Evaluation of the Conservative Critique 19. Government Subsidies to Specific Firms: An Evaluation of the Radical Critique 20. The NEB: An Example of Co-operation. Bibliography. Index.