The universities of Warwick and Aston are set to host a new £2.9m Enterprise Research Centre, aimed at establishing the factors affecting business growth.
Funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the British Bankers Association (BBA), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Technology Strategy Board, the centre will conduct and publish research to establish better growth strategies in the UK and influence government policy on small businesses and entrepreneurs.
The model bears similarities to American entrepreneurship charity, the Kauffman Foundation, but will not provide hands-on training and development for entrepreneurs in the UK.
Launched in conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Enterprise Research Centre aims to become a focal point for advice research and information relating to the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises.
Warwick and Aston University will work alongside a selection of other universities including Strathclyde, Birmingham, De Montfort and Imperial College London in an effort to boost small business performance in the UK.
Warwick Business School’s Professor Stephen Roper is set to become director of the new network, which will be spread across four locations at Warwick, Aston, Imperial College London and Strathclyde.
Roper told Startups: “The centre will try to shape the policy framework and the kind of support that government puts in place for small businesses and start-ups.”
Roper explained that alongside influencing government policy, the research centre aims to support UK businesses by studying the most effective strategies for their growth, including research into new funding mechanisms.
He said: “One of the funders is the British Bankers Association, so they’re looking to the centre to provide them with input on the type of funding arrangements and the type of funding mechanisms that would be most helpful to start-up businesses.”