Understanding and Promoting Small Business Growth and Entrepreneurship

By way of introduction to this special edition, I want to briefly share with you some of my own observations of the state of our knowledge in the area of Small and Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) growth through a personal experience. This particular experience was at a conference focused on the growth of SMEs, those organisations defined as having fewer than 250 employees, and less than 50M Euros in sales revenue(European Union). The room was filled with some very clever people, all passionate about their work, about SMEs, and about growth. What could possibly be wrong with that? One of the key themes that emerged for me as a result of attending the conference was how we define, discuss and understand the concept of'growth'. Here I will highlight three particular approaches, all of which are distinct. They concern ‘output measures’, ‘chance’ and ‘personal and organisational transitions’