In what way has the recession/stagnation period since 2008 affected SMEs and its individual strata -micro, small

Demonstrate a good level of understanding of core material, using reasoned argument, and where appropriate hypothesis construction, the assembling of evidence and reasoned conclusions. The ability to contextualise information and assimilate it into key economic models is important. The essay, at a high level, should demonstrate the ability to access and integrate current research material – journals and government sources being very pertinent.

* a good range of knowledge of the fundamental theoretical and empirical knowledge that underlies the field.
* an awareness of research methods in the area.
* technical competence where appropriate.
* a good level of essay writing skills
* the ability to mount and sustain an argument.


• Theoretical approaches to the understanding of small firms.
• Significance of SMEs in the modern economy.
• Role of small firms in the UK and the EU.
• Porter type analysis for analyzing competitiveness and small firm dynamics.
• Systemic competitiveness model and the small firm stratum.
• Small firms: international case studies of select countries: Venezuela, Poland.
• International policy orientation towards small firms.

1. In what way has the recession/stagnation period since 2008 affected SMEs and its individual strata -micro, small etc. (15marks)

2. What are the main reasons why small firms (rather than large) dominate a particular market structure. Give an example of a very competitive market and explain the conduct and performance features of firms that stem from such a competitive market structure. (10 marks)

3. Explain the concept of churn. Comment if it is possible to use date from the BIS web site to demonstrate this. (5 marks)
4. Using the data on the BIS web site draw a graph of the share of SMEs in the total economy from the year 2000 to the latest figures available. Draw a graph also for each stratum within the SME classification. Describe and explain the movement on this graph. (20 marks)
5. With reference to the Audretsch article – Impeded Industrial Restructuring:
The Growth Penalty – how do changes in industry size structure impact on performance? Is there a growth penalty for not engaging in restructuring the economy towards smaller firms. (20 marks)

6. What are the major ingredients of UK government policy towards SMEs. How can government judge if these polices are effective? (15 marks)

7. With reference to the Mulhern article – Venezuela Manufacturing, SME Decline and Failed Transition – what were the major reasons for the absolute and relative decline of Venezuelan SMEs? (15 marks)

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