Aston University helps shape UK growth plan

Financial Crisis

28 November 2011

When Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne rose in the House of Commons on Tuesday to deliver his autumn statement, he did so with the benefit of new research from academics at Aston University.

The autumn statement report was vital as it identifed new ways in which the UK economy can grow. Aston University Professor Mark Hart, who is globally renowned for his work in the field of entrepreneurship and business growth (currently part-funded by NESTA), was asked to conduct research to help identify the characteristics of a group of firms that fall rarely under the spotlight – Mid-Sized Businesses (MSBs). This research has helped inform the autumn statement.

In particular Professor Mark Hart and his colleagues in the Economics & Strategy Group have focused on those firms that are not yet large, but have grown beyond being a small firm. These Mid-Sized Businesses have a turnover of between £25 million to £500 million, and are likely to have no more than 250 employees. The research analysis, based on unpublished ONS data, looks at where these firms are located, which sector of the economy they are in, and to what extent they have contributed to economic growth between 1997 and 2010. 

Professor Hart explains: “If we can clarify exactly what sort of firm is driving job creation and growth, and what the common characteristics are of these MSBs, then we may be able to develop appropriate support for all sizes of businesses in other regions or across other sectors. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) are very clear that this research is critical to the future growth plan which will be revealed on Tuesday.”

Aston University is the UK home of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and is also the Midlands partner for the influential Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme.  Professor Mark Hart is the Programme Director for both these initiatives.

For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk