AbstractA small proportion of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) create most new employment in the sector (Storey et al., 1987). Thus UK Business Link’s remit to provide advice to small firms with the potential to grow should maximise the employment impact of small firm advice. Yet, the risks involved in fast growth and the perceived need for visionary leadership constrains advisors from proffering that advice. This research uses data from 29 transcribed semi-structured research interviews and a group interview of 10 business advisors in the UK’s West Midlands region collected in Autumn 1996 to Spring 1997. The interviewees respond to a prompt for advice for a firm contemplating fast growth. This research suggests that in the implementation stage strategy toward small firms is subtly altered. The research suggests that advisors tend to offer general advice and support to all firms, and focus toward support for all, rather than targeting, and support to help companies survive, rather than grow. Given the importance of these fast growing firms to local employment the findings suggest that present business advice might reduce insolvency rather than increase the number of fast growth firms.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
Series/Report no.Working paper