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The Impact of Collaboration Between Industry and Academia on SME Growth

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One important aspect in the small firm sector is the increased provision of training available to encourage small businesses to expand and develop their knowledge base. In the belief that new small firms can generate a number of new jobs at a time of high unemployment, the UK government in the early 1980s developed public policy to encourage small firm formation and growth. Measures have been enacted to assist small firms in the UK in areas of taxation, education, funding and placement schemes. (Cross 1983). Although Curran (1986) describes this as a 'heading plunge' into a policy of discrimination in favour of the small enterprise, and is critical of the effectiveness of many of these actions, the measures are a clear indication that public policy and funds are firmly committed to support the small firm sector (Marlow 1992). Since then local support agencies, such as The Training and Enterprise Councils (TECs), and Local Enterprise Councils (LECs) in Scotland, funded by the Department of Trade and Industry and European Union offer professional consultancy advice and training to small firms and their owners. Such agencies offer help in the form of business start-up support and training, management skills and any aspect, which can aid growth in the small firm. However, the indications from the agency consultants have found that not enough owner/managers are utilising this enterprise network to assist business growth (Marlow 1992, Choueke and Armstrong 1998).
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Keywords: ENTREPRENEURSHIP; GROWTH; INTERFACE; LEARNING; MARKETING; SME'S; TRAINING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-04-01

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