DOI: 10.5176/2251-1970_BizStrategy16.10

Authors: David E Gray, Mark NK Saunders

Abstract: A vibrant SME sector is one of the principal driving forces in the development of the UK market economy, so it is not surprising that, since the 1980s, the birth and growth of new businesses has been seen as a major source of economic expansion. However, while SMEs are of importance, it is their durability that can be considered of greater significance. The precarious nature of SME existence has been well documented. Recent estimates indicate that fewer than 61.5{6e6090cdd558c53a8bc18225ef4499fead9160abd3419ad4f137e902b483c465} of SMEs are still trading three years after start-up. Put simply, SMEs are more likely to fail than larger businesses. Having said that, not only do SMEs survive some actually prosper. This review paper identifies strategies that such successful businesses are likely to adopt and, drawing on these, offers an agenda for research as a series of questions.

Keywords:  SMEs, winning new business, entrepreneurship, innovation

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