Skip to main content

Winner of "Nobel Prize" for Small Business Research Calls for Changes in Government Policy

Originally Published - 25 November 1998

On Tuesday 1st December Professor David Storey, Director of The Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises at Warwick Business School, will receive a $50,000 award which has never before been won by anyone outside the US and which is seen as the equivalent of the Nobel prize for small business. He will use the event to call for three changes in government policy to small businesses.

The award citation describes Professor Storey as: “by far the most oft-cited small business researcher in Europe... his research contributions have had a major impact on the quality, credibility and policy relevance of the entire field of small business research.” The three changes he will call for are:-

  • A new approach to Training: Government should stop believing that small firms are irrational, or even stupid, for not taking advantage of training. The limited resources as short term planning horizons of small firms tend to exclude them from participation in even subsidised training opportunities. Government should seek to offer training opportunities direct to individual workers.
  • A new approach to business failure: Here in the UK business failure is viewed as a reflection of competence, and anyone declared bankrupt often has great difficulty in obtaining funding to start another business. In the United States there is a recognition that failure can be a ‘chance event’ individuals may learn from the experience and subsequently establish more successful businesses.
  • New Information Intermediaries: Governments acquire vast amounts of information on legislation, tax and other matters. Small businesses daily have specific questions on these matters that need answered and often have not the time to absorb the wealth of detail that often surrounds any one question. Professor Storey believes that Government should seek to create Information Intermediaries, whether subsidised or not by the state, whose task is to be able to take specific questions asked by entrepreneurs and immediately obtain valuable information.

Professor Storey will be presented with the award in Stockholm City Hall by Swedish Assistant Minister of Industry and Trade, Ms Mona Sahlin, on behalf of the Swedish National Board for Industrial and Technical Development (NUTEK), in conjunction with the Swedish Foundation for Small Business Research. The full award consists of the statuette, "The Hand of God" created by the sculptor Carl Miles and $50,000 US dollars.

For further information please contact:

Professor David Storey, Director

Centre for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Warwick Business School Tel: 024 76 522074