Fringe Event Building Better Business Resilience in Micro and SMEs across Europe

When: 15:00 - 16:30 I Monday 2nd September 2019

Where: Aston University I Birmingham

Cost: free of charge to all BAM2019 Conference attendees  

Facilitator Professor Mark Hart, Aston University 

‘SME Resilience’ which will draw upon our current European project for the JP Morgan Chase Foundation. 

 The workshop will draw upon contributions from a major five-country study of 3,000 European firms looking at how entrepreneurs can ‘shock-proof’ their businesses. Entitled ‘Building Better Business Resilience’, the research project led by the Enterprise Research Centre is supported by the JPMorgan Chase Foundation. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are crucial to the economy. However, very little is known about the ways in which SMEs in general, and businesses run by entrepreneurs from under-represented groups in particular, experience challenges and shocks that threaten their survival. Identifying routes to resilience for these businesses in the face of such threats is the overarching objective of this research project.  The project identifies and uses internationally accepted measures of individual and organisational resilience as well as bespoke measures designed in collaboration with key stakeholders. 

 The workshop will be contextualised with a presentation based on a detailed literature review undertaken by the ERC research team on SME resilience.  There will be contributions from each of the European city studies (London, Frankfurt, Milan, Madrid and Paris).  Findings from the recently completed London study revealed that ethnic-led businesses were significantly more likely than non-ethnic led businesses to have experienced a threat to the survival of their business. This effect was more evident for younger ethnic businesses and those located in low-income boroughs.  In addition, ethnic-minority business owners also judged the potential for future threats to be greater than their non-ethnic counterparts. Key issues included increased competition from new and existing sources, cost rises, problems with premises and changes in regulation or legislation.  Fieldwork in the remaining 4 cities will be completed in the Spring of 2019 and be available for inclusion in the workshop.  The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion involving key stakeholders on the impact of this research for business support for under-represented groups in different local contexts. 


Credit - Image by Dan Freeman