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The revival of the small business sector in the UK

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The growth of the Federation of Small Businesses and its relative power of lobbying.
    1. 1974 to 1991: The stagnant evolution of the NFSE.
    2. The remarkable growth of the Federation of Small Businesses since 1991.
  3. Recent 'political consensus' towards the Small Business sector.
    1. Sector cherished both by the Conservatives and Labour governments since the mid 1970's.
    2. The limits of the Consensus.
  4. The long-term structural changes fostering the Small Business Sector growth: The case of the Small Business Service Firms and the Black and Minority Ethnic businesses.
    1. The stunning growth of Small Business Service Firms.
    2. The growing Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Businesses contribution.
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography.

According to data from Labour Market Trends in 1999, enterprises with fewer than 50 employees provide 45% of UK non-government employment and account for 38% of turnover, the employment figure includes the self-employed who employ no one and comprise 2.3 Million out of a total of 3.7 million of small firms. There are considerable sectoral variations in the importance of small firms: for example, in agriculture, forestry, fishing and construction they account for nearly all employment; in hotels, restaurants and catering for about a half; and for a minority in manufacturing (29%) and financial intermediation (16%). ?Micro businesses' (0-9 employees) account for 94% of all businesses and for 28% of employment. Organisations with 10-99 employees add a further 5 percent of all businesses, which account for 22% of employment . While the Small firms account for a large part of the working population, they have not always been spoilt by British Politics. During the main part of the 20th century, there were seen as impediment to economic modernisation. This indifference began to change in the mid 70's and by the mid 90's the commercial landscape had been transformed by a host of policies designed to assist small firms. This political neglect, which is by far less effective, has many reasons.

[...] The long-term structural changes fostering the Small Business Sector growth: the case of the Small Business Service Firms and the Black and Minority Ethnic businesses The Small Business sector also owes its growth to long term structural changes such as two examples that I would introduce below, the massive role played by the creation and growth of Small Business Service Firms in post- industrial Britain and the more and more important contribution of Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) business owners to the small business population. [...]

[...] The growth of the Small Business Sector in the UK shouldn't be attributed to only one actor or factor. However, we must admit that we are studying a structural long-term change, which implies the development of the service sector, supported by a powerful lobby, the Federation of Small Businesses and a general consensus in policies. These two last points might explain the impressive health of the Small Business Sector in the UK compared to other comparable countries such as France. [...]

[...] The SBS works closely with other governments departments and partners at national, regional and local level to develop seven national strategies which culminated in the launch of the Government Action Plan for Small Business on 8 January 2004. These strategies are: building an enterprise culture, encouraging a more dynamic start-up market, building the capability for small business growth, improving access to finance for small businesses, encouraging more enterprise in disadvantaged communities and under represented groups, improving small businesses' experience of government services, developing better regulations and policy. [...]

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