Serious impact opportunity for UK Business Schools: Enterprise Research Centre (ERC)

See on Scoop.itDual impact of research; towards the impactelligent university

The Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) is an independent research centre which conducts policy relevant research on SME growth and development. The ERC is a partnership between Warwick Business School, Aston Business School, Birmingham, Imperial College Business School, Strathclyde Business School and Birmingham University Business School . Funding is being provided by the Economic and Social Research Council, the UK government Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the British Bankers Association and the Technology Strategy Board.Research within ERC focuses on entrepreneurial ambition and inclination, leadership capabilities in the management teams of SMEs, the impact of diversity on SME start-up and growth, the financing of growth companies, innovation and exporting in SMEs and the role of SMEs in UK jobs growth.Alongside its research activities the ERC aims to act as a focal point for SMEs and the SME research and policy communities in the UK, facilitating knowledge exchange. ERC aims to work with: UK Government Departments by providing an evidence base on the growth profile of UK business and the drivers of SME growth in differing contexts. Financial Institutions and Business Support Organisations by ensuring those actively working with small businesses have access to the most up-to-date research to enable them to adapt and position their offer more effectively.International Organisations by generating new research findings and an opportunity to engage and shape the work of the Centre over the three years of funding.Sub-national Government, Agencies and Organisations by providing robust and trustworthy evidence on the drivers of entrepreneurship and small firm growth


The ERC’s research activity is divided into six themes and reflects the fact that despite considerable research attention over the last 30 years the evidence base for SME policy and strategy formulation remains incomplete. As a result, growth strategy and policy remain sub-optimal.

The vast majority of research on SME growth has focused on explaining firm-level drivers and barriers to growth with limited consideration being given to either the structure, aspirations and capabilities of the leadership team or the context within which the firm is operating. Equally, a failure to recognise the multi-dimensionality of ‘growth’ itself (i.e., growth in employees; revenues; profits; value; high-growth versus low-growth versus variable growth) means that policy is often insufficiently fine-grained.

The ERC’s research programme is intended to address these issues. Three research themes focus on the entrepreneur and leadership team and centre on entrepreneurial ambition, leadership capabilities and diversity. Three other research themes have the SME as the unit of analysis and focus on finance and performance, innovation and firm demographics and productivity.

Our research themes are:

Research Theme 1: Entrepreneurial Ambition and GrowthResearch Theme 2: Entrepreneurial Leadership, Capabilities and GrowthResearch Theme 3: Diversity and SMEs in the Emerging EconomyResearch Theme 4: Finance and GrowthResearch Theme 5: SME Innovation, exporting and growthResearch Theme 6: Firm Dynamics, Job Creation and Productivity Growth
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About Wilfred Mijnhardt
RMIMR is my virtual playground, a place to reflect on issues from my professional context, my job as Policy Director at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). RSM is the international university based business school at Erasmus University Rotterdam. More info here: Here is my list of relevant publications on the topic of my RMIMR weblog: The rss feed for my RMIMR collection is here: Here is my other weblog on impact of research:

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