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 remarkable growth of the Federation of Small Businesses since 1991 The NFSE was relabelled the Federation of Small Businesses in 1991 in an attempt to make it more ‘marketable' by seeking a broader small business base than self-employed'1. The impressive growth which has led to a current total of 200,000 members ties into two developments within the FSB. In the early 1990's, it changed both the nature of policy-influencing activities and recruitments method. The near-simultaneous adoption by the Federation of a new selective incentive recruiting emphasis serves as a sort of natural experiment of the power of Olsonian ideas. [...]
[...] His last proposal was to increase the level of small business involvement in adult education policies, at both local and national. The Conservative party is not alone on the Small Business sector camp. The Labor changed its traditional approach toward Small Business little by little. Its industrial policy was before concentrated on large firms, whether through full-scale public ownership or some more limited system of state intervention and regulation. There was little interest in small companies, and the trade unions tended to view them with a degree of hostility, as such firms were weakly unionized and frequently associated with poor pay and conditions. [...]
[...] The growth of the Small Business Sector has also a lot to do with the changes in policies implemented, possibly in part because of the FSB, favoring the expansion of the sector. A recent ‘political consensus' towards the Small Business sector The Small Business Sector enjoys since the mid-1970's a political consensus towards its positive contribution to the UK economy. The economic significance of the small firm sector first declined during the first 40 years of the twentieth century as small firms were absorbed by larger ones, primarily through mergers. [...]
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