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Sustainable Business Growth

This cluster is led by Professor Mark Gilman and is made up of a team of research active staff, PhD students and two full time research fellows. Within CEIG the cluster has gained a significant reputation for undertaking applied research on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to enhance understanding of practices linked to growth.

SME Growth and Development cluster

Research on the development of SMEs has been identified by the UK government as critically important for economic and social goals. Despite this, three key issues have been identified within most SME research. First, is a tendency to view growth as an output-based, rather than a process-based measure. Second, is the use of deductive-based frameworks which limit understanding of the integrated nature and critical multiple dependencies of SME growth. Finally, is the use of principally quantitative methods with implications for the type of intelligence collected on SMEs.

CEIG has actively developed a set of research tools with the specific objective of addressing these documented gaps between research and practice. Key to this has been development and application of the PSP diagnostic. The PSP diagnostic is a multi-determinant research framework, which employs a deductive approach allowing SMEs to explore the key factors driving growth in a broader capacity. It focuses on growth as a dynamic process and accommodates the role of context and environment and incorporates the participant as a stakeholder in the research process. Each stage enables the SME to develop a personalised understanding/roadmap to achieving growth.

Research areas

  • SME Growth and Development
  • SMEs and Networks
  • SMEs and Dynamic Capabilities
  • High performance Work Systems in SMEs
  • SME Strategy and Leadership
Business Growth Diagnostic

SMEs in the West Midlands are invited to participate in PSP. This is an intensive analysis enhancing our insight into SME growth. More importantly, it supports you and your business directly. By participating, you will benefit from;

  • An opportunity to reflect critically on your business
  • Access to a diagnostic analysis on business growth practice
  • Opportunity to participate in further intensive research with CEIG to aid your growth

Find out more about the Business Growth Diagnostic here.

Staff working in this cluster

Projects

  • Live

Promoting Sustainable Performance West Midlands

Promoting Sustainable Performance (PSP) West Midlands is a comprehensive study of SME practice and its relationship to firm development and growth. PSP researches SME development using an inductive, mixed methods model and allows us to build a more comprehensive and detailed understanding of the how management practices, strategy, industry, and place affect growth for a firm.

PSP West Midlands is being progressed through four separate phases of survey data collection, SME manager interviews, case studies, and focus groups. 

Further information on PSP West Midlands can be obtained by contacting Jacob.Salder@bcu.ac.uk

Business Growth Programme evaluation

The Business Growth Programme (BGP) was a £33m SME support initiative delivered by a partnership led by Birmingham City Council and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The programme offered co-financing for SMEs seeking to invest in development projects improving their products, processes, and capabilities. It covered SMEs based in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Marches, and Stoke and Staffordshire areas.

CEIG undertook an evaluation of the BGP, and published this in March 2019. The evaluation examined the delivery process of the BGP and the performance and outputs achieved, alongside providing a series of recommendations for future interventions aimed at supporting SMEs.

Business Growth Programme evaluation report  

  • Live

Promoting Sustainable Performance Indonesia

PSP Indonesia is researching the development practices and processes of SMEs based in the province of Bandung, Indonesia. As a developing country, there is a growing interest in the area of business development in Indonesia, as a foundation for internal economic growth, an expanding market with export potential for the UK, and as an academic exercise in understanding how growth works in the context of an emerging economy.

Further information on PSP Indonesia can be obtained by contacting Aineias.Gkikas@bcu.ac.uk

  • Live

Enterprise for Success / Growing You

CEIG is delivering support for SMEs looking to grow as part of BCU’s Small Business Service. The Enterprise for Success and Growing You programmes, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, provide support through workshop-based and one-to-one assists.

Support is for SMEs based in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull area.

Further information on Growing You can be found here

Further information on Enterprise for Success can be found here