The Entrepreneurial Element: To What Extent Can Management Produce Long Term Financial Success Within UK SMEs? A Critical Investigation of the Managerial and Financial Performance of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises in the United Kingdom

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute greatly to the economy of the United Kingdom and can enable communities and countries within the union to develop. Over 95% of businesses in the United Kingdom are commonly classed as an SME. The workforce of all businesses combined employs millions of people. Research has shown conclusively that, although many factors can prohibit longer term success or growth within these types of entities, SMEs are undoubtedly crucial in providing economic stability to countries, given the sheer amount seen.

However, central to this dissertation, is determining the level of entrepreneurial input that is seen within SMEs, examining the many incentives and drawbacks that are experienced by the styles of managers. Additionally, providing information on funding opportunities upon start-up, any helpful governmental policies, the level of technology and innovation seen and assessing entrepreneurial activity within SMEs by UK regions all relevantly add to the research aims and objectives.

Furthermore, seeking specific primary research on the viewpoints and anecdotal evidence of entrepreneurs, small business owners and SME employees within the United Kingdom was key in providing added, credible data and strengthening or rejecting particular conclusions and proposals.

By viewing the extensive literature available, findings that make up the secondary research here contributed towards the research collated. Additionally aforementioned, primary research was conducted in the form of interviews and a survey with relevant, experienced practitioners and professionals. Both methods were based on the findings of the secondary research.

The key conclusions drawn from the research were:

- That entrepreneurs and managers of SMEs need to be more sensible, acknowledging the "right time" to enter and leave markets. SMEs should be continuously aware of mounting costs and changes to rates, such as interest or inflation, and other macro-environmental factors that can affect their business hard and fast.

- Essentially, greater and more assured help from government on SME prosperity is required. Assistance from councils and local government authorities are varied depending on region and the fortunes a business may see can result from somewhat of a lottery.

- Future research should be encouraged on the distinct education gap in entrepreneurs between theory and reality: with this valuable education of entrepreneurship appearing too late (i.e. sometimes after high school education).  Implementation of pre-Standard Grade / GCSE courses and workshops in entrepreneurship and enterprise should alleviate this issue.

- In addition, studies have shown that some industries such as information technology (IT) and design and engineering discover successful entrepreneurs more than others. Greater research should be conducted, therefore, to establish more self-made business people across other professions.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationMaster of Science
Awarding Institution
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • Paul, Stuart, Supervisor
Place of PublicationHamilton
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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