Module Identifier MM32220  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Mrs Nerys Fuller-Love  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   20 Hours 2 hours per week  
Assessment Course work     20%  
  Exam   2 Hours   80%  


The aim of this course is to familiarise students with the problems of establishing and running a small business. It also attempts to indicate the importance of the small business sector in the UK and other Western economies. Teaching media will comprise a series of lectures, a business development plan and videos. Guest speakers will also be invited to present the topics from a practical viewpoint.

By the end of this course the students will be able to:

1. Assess the importance of small businesses in the wider economy, especially their role in creating employment and implementing innovation;

2. Discuss the main problems associated with running a small business in terms of employee relations, marketing and financial control;

3. Identify the causes and extent of small business failure;

4. Plan for a new business start-up and be aware of government and other incentives to assist such ventures.


The Economic Context of Small Business:
The small firm in the economy; economic importance; comparative analysis of attitudes and approaches to small business in the UK, USA and Europe.

Theories of Entrepreneurship; Motivations toward the formation of small businesses; Research findings on entrepreneurship and their practical implications; A comparison of male and female entrepreneurs.

Financial Management.
Developing the business idea and formulating the business plan; Raising funds; Forms of financing; Controlling the enterprise; Budgets; Information systems for planning, decision making and control.

Business Simulation Exercise:
Students are placed into competing teams which have to set up and run a small company manufacturing motor cars. The market and production process are simulated by the computer and teams have to respond to random events and deviations from business plans. The exercise forms a part of the assignment.

Marketing in the Small Firm:
Importance of marketing to the Small Firm; The role of the marketing mix, market segmentation, market research; Problems of marketing in the small firm; Advantages of being ‘small’ in a marketing context.

Employee Relations:
Traditional small firm stereotypes; the entrepreneur as a manager; the employee in the small firm; Small firm industrial relations; Comparison of small firm/large firm employee and industrial relations.

The Role of Government and Small Business in the UK:
Taxation as an incentive/disincentive; Government and regional policy perspectives; The success of government support/assistance; The role of the EC.

Establishment, Growth and Business Failure:
Problems of the developing small business. The management of human resources and the organisation structure. Motivation for expansion, Organic vs. acquisition led growth. Business failure – causes and prediction.

Reading Lists

Keasey, K., Watson, R.,. (1993) Small Firm Management, Ownership, Finance and Performance. Blackwell
Stanworth J., Gray, C.,. (1991) Bolton 20 Years On. Paul Chapman
Storey, D.J.,. (1994) Understanding the Small Business Sector. Routledge
Dewhurst, J., Burns, P.,. (1993) Small Business Management. 3rd edition. Macmillan Press
Gavron, R., Cowling, M., Holtham, G., Westall, A. (1998) The Entrepreneurial Society. Institute for Public Policy Research
Harrison, J. Taylor, B. (1996) Supergrowth Companies; Entrepreneurs in Action. Butterworth Heinemann