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Opportunity and risk: Do entrepreneurs work these out simultaneously?

By Lin Chu, Stuart Paul and Russell Rimmer


Entrepreneurship as a field of study has gained prominence for a number of reasons but notably, it is often seen as a means of overcoming unemployment and poverty and in recent years it is seen as a way to encourage competitiveness in the age of globalisation (Ripsas 1998; Westhead & Wright 2000).\ud \ud In the UK, entrepreneurship is recognised as an important factor in economic development, in particular, small and medium sized firms are of interest because they are associated with the five drivers of productivity identified by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI 2004), namely investment, innovation, skills, competition and enterprise. It is estimated that, of the 4.3 million private businesses in the UK, over 99 percent of firms are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). They employ 22 million people, which is more than half of the private sector workforce (DTI 2005)

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