Government support for small business

A recent article in the Evening Standard made mention of a University don in Ulster whose research suggested that there was little evidence of any positive impact from government support programmes for small business.

The report on the University of Ulster website dated 19 October 2010 states in its first paragraph that it considers that government support for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are a waste of money and fail to produce any demonstrable increase in entrepreneurship or business growth.

The suggestion is that the same projects are rolled out again and again by successive governments in the hope that something works.

Professor O’Neill was speaking at the 36th International Small Business Congress held earlier this month in Taiwan.

The full paper is available online and I will be reading it in the next few days and reporting further.

However, perhaps one major reason why there may be some truth in this view is that successive governments never really seem to:-

a)         Elicit the views of small business

b)         Speak to small business at all

c)         Understand what constitutes a small business