*Small & Medium Sized Enterprises: EU Definition: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/enterprise_policy/sme_definition/index_en.htm
Micro enterprise: 0-9 employees
Small enterprise: 10-49 employees
Medium enterprise: 50-249 employees
*Rise of small business:
-1950s and 1960s - big is beautiful: economies of scale, prevailing ideology, Management theory based on large corporations - McKinsey reports
-70s, 80s, 90s - new entrepreneurial spirit - the 'me' generation: Emphasis on creativity and individuality, make money working for yourself and the economic realities - redundancies, job shortages, short term contracts.
-Bolton Report 1971: Small firms to be 'efficient', 'motivated', 'innovatory' and for independent individuals.
2. Business Start-up
The start up influences can include the personal character traits, the situational factors and the antecedent influences. (Burns (2011)Entrepreneurship and small business - start-up, growth and maturity 3rd ed Palgrave Macmillan)
*Personal character traits of owner-managers and entrepreneurs are: need for independence, achievement, an internal locus of control and the ability to live with uncertainty and take risks.
*The main personal character traits of entrepreneurs are: Opportunistic, Innovative, Self-confident, Proactive and self-motivated, Visionary with flair (instinto) and willing to take greater risks and live with greater uncertainty.
*Situational factors: employment, unemployment, immigration and economic opportunity.
*Antecedent influences: Family, Ethnicity, Gender (Female entrepreneurship grew from 5% to 30% between 1967 & 1997 (McClelland et al, 2005)-domestic roles?), Education, Previous employment, Religion, Social group and National culture.
The reasons for setting up in business can be divided into two factors:
-PUSH FACTORS: Unemployment, Disagreement with management, Does not "fit in" to company and no other alternatives.
-PULL FACTORS: Independence, Achievement / Recognition, Personal development and personal wealth.
Running a business:
*Product / Service * Launch / Development *Marketing *PR / Communications
*Finance * Legal *Operations *Leadership / Management / HR
In the beginning, there are a range of factors in SM start ups: Uncertainty, Feeling of loneliness and lack of direction and lack of theory/transferable knowledge to guide new businesses.
-Areas of uncertainty: Overall outcomes for businesses , Rates of success, failure and survival, the initial processes are 'uncharted territory', real obj. of the business.