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Successes in Policy-making Activity for Entrepreneurs and SMEs

Originally published 6 February 2003

A number of recent awards and achievements indicate the strength and quality of policy-making guidance provided by the Centre for Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (CSME) at the University of Warwick Business School. Headed by Professor David Storey, the CSME’s staff has scored these successes in the past few months:

Advising the policy makers

1. An important thrust of CSME’s work has always been to advise policy-makers in government. Professor David Storey has been re-appointed for a further two years to the Small Business Council (SBC), and is still the sole academic to sit on it.

2. During the last weeks of 2002, David made several visits to No 10 Downing St and the Treasury, along with the Chair of the SBC, finalising publication of Enterprise Britain, a document aimed at policy-makers. The report is signed by both Patricia Hewitt and Gordon Brown, a ground-breaker in that it is the first small business report to be signed by figureheads of both the Treasury AND the DTI.

3. David is again working for the OECD, on its SME working party. In Spring 2004 it plans to bring all Small Business Ministers of OECD members to a conference in Istanbul. David has been invited to speak and contribute material for this ministerial-level gathering.

4. Dr Kevin Mole, Research Fellow in CSME, produced a paper on Productivity in SMEs, published by the Small Business Service in late 2002. It is now being widely quoted around government and policy-making circles.

5. Dr Stuart Fraser, Midlands Productivity Research Fellow in CSME, won joint best paper at the national conference of the Institute for Small Business Affairs in November 2002. Stuart’s paper entitled IIP(Investors in People) in Small Firms had to compete with over 100 other submissions. At the same event, Dr Francis Greene, Lecturer, and Kevin Mole’s paper Entrepreneurship in Three English Counties won best policy paper.

Teaching entrepreneurship – by example
December 2002 saw Dr Andrew Burke launch the International Journal of Entrepreneurship Education (IJEE). This new venture was in itself an entrepreneurial project – Andrew saw a gap in the market, and together with two students he once taught, found funding to publish and launch the IJEE.

The IJEE Editorial Board is made up of professors from the world’s leading international business schools and economics departments including Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, UCLA, WBS, Cambridge, and INSEAD.

The journal promotes the idea that success in starting a business is not confined to the charismatic few, but is something that can be learned. It focuses on the aspects of entrepreneurship that can be taught, believing that knowledge, more consistently than personality types, determines whether new ventures succeed or fail.

Andrew, one of the Journal’s founding editors, said, “What makes a successful entrepreneur varies across industries and even within firms at different stages of their evolution. Contrary to popular myth, personality, psychological make-up, and life experiences are very limited predictors of who will become an entrepreneur. A good understanding of the economics of the entrepreneurial market in which the firm operates, alongside a grasp of core business skills, are key. The constant features that are associated with successful entrepreneurship are skills and perspectives that can largely be taught.”

For further information contact:
Diana Holton, Press Information Officer Tel. 024 7652 2985