RESEARCH & INSIGHTS


Exemplas is committed to sharing our unique combination of academic research heritage and extensive experience of working with small business and governments across the world to bring innovation and best business practice to the world of small business support. Our research and insights are our way of transferring this knowledge and sharing ideas to help create the environment for small businesses to flourish and drive a competitive, high performing economy with small business at its heart. Review our research and blogs for useful, inspiring information from our academics and business facing teams.

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  • latest thinking
Using technology to operate more smartly

Malcolm Williamson, Commercial and Enterprise Director, discusses the importance of creating the right environment for SME businesses to thrive and how digital technology is core to this.  
latest thinking
16/06/2016
The importance of using external business support

Graham Coultas, Innovation and Programmes Director, explains the importance of using external business support, with many benefits to be gained from increased survival rates to higher income.
latest thinking
16/06/2016
Helping SMEs to thrive: creating a better future for Britain's businesses

David Moule, Chief Executive, talks about the landscape in which SMEs operate in and how Exemplas plays a part in shaping the future for small business.
latest thinking
16/06/2016
The Exemplas Index

The Winter/Spring Exemplas Index is the second in a series of reports, which highlights the findings of our research into the support needs and preferences of small business.
reports
20/05/2016
Improving UK Competitiveness – University Business Collaboration

 A survey of over 18,000 academics in the UK, published by the National Centre for Universities and Business, “Changing State of Knowledge Exchange” shows that the majority of academic researchers are committed to helping the British economy grow by engaging with business. 
latest thinking
29/03/2016
How long does it take to learn to manage others successfully?

It is no secret that having effective managers can be a huge benefit to SMEs, yet it is often a struggle to find people who have the right technical skills as well as the management skills and experience.
blogs
14/12/2015
The development of coaching

When it comes to development, coaching is very much the in vogue term. But is it a passing fad or is it here to stay?  
blogs
04/12/2015
Business Support Findings

Included in the research were a number of questions aimed at understanding why businesses use business support services and how they are benefiting from this use. 
reports
03/12/2015
Digital Findings

Our latest quarterly survey of small and medium enterprises, The Exemplas Index, provides insight into SME aspirations, challenges and access to business support services.  ​
reports
17/11/2015
Under-25s: a highly valuable asset to SMEs

Tory minister Matthew Hancock’s defence of the Conservative Party’s decision to exclude under-25s from the new national living wage met with outrage.
blogs
20/10/2015
Managing Performance in SMEs

It’s often said that employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers. If this is true, then there’s a lot more managers should be doing to retain their staff.
latest thinking
02/10/2015
The Exemplas Index

The Autumn Exemplas Index is the first in a series which will monitor trends in SMEs and the impact of external and economic factors on the SME community in England. This particular report focuses on the period from May – July 2015.
reports
22/09/2015
Lifelong learning in SMEs

As school and university students start a new academic year, this serves as a reminder to SME owners that learning should also be embedded into their strategy.
blogs
14/09/2015
The benefits of collaboration

Siloing is regularly identified as one of the main barriers businesses face to innovation and growth.
latest thinking
26/08/2015
Let's get digital

A growing number of small businesses are beginning to recognize the importance of adopting a more digital approach to doing business. 
blogs
19/08/2015
Employee engagement? Can’t I just take my team to the pub?

According to a recent worldwide study by Gallup, only 13 percent of employees feel engaged at work.
blogs
15/08/2015
Creating an enterprise education system

By Nigel Culkin, Professor of Enterprise and Entrepreneurial Development, University of Hertfordshire.  It’s encouraging to see that young people are drawn towards entrepreneurship. Indeed, research shows that 15% of undergraduates plan to start their own business after graduation.
blogs
05/08/2015
Education and Business – Bridging the Gap for Future Economic Growth

According to the recently published Education and Skills Survey from CBI and Pearson Education it is often businesses themselves who have to make up skills gaps when they can’t find skilled staff.
latest thinking
03/08/2015
Business shouldn’t be represented by just one voice, it should be by many

By Malcolm Williamson, Commerical and Enterprise Director. I was interested to read the FT last week and the story ‘Debate rages over genuine voice of British business.’ The author was seemingly suggesting that the UK needed a single voice for business, one authoritarian narrator to speak to the rest of the world about our business interests.
blogs
23/07/2015
Reducing Recruitment Risks

Hiring mistakes are costly in all companies, but in SMEs where teams tend to be more stretched the consequences can be further reaching.
blogs
10/07/2015
Build your house on stone – how to avoid starting a bad business

A report by British commercial insurer RSA published in September last year found that more than half of new businesses don’t survive beyond the first five years.
blogs
01/07/2015
Apprenticeships to be protected by law

By Ruth Exelby, Skills Director. The announcement by Skills Minister Nick Boles that the term ‘apprenticeship’ will be protected in law as part of the government’s drive to strengthen their reputation can only be applauded.
blogs
30/06/2015
Bridging the digital skills gap in Britain’s SMEs

The second annual UK Business Digital Index by Lloyds Bank showed that over a million small businesses lack basic digital skills. 
latest thinking
23/06/2015
The UK Labour Market Statistics June 2015

The UK Labour Market Statistics from the Office of National Statistics give a very useful insight into the trends in employment and unemployment across the UK.
latest thinking
19/06/2015
Technology is an enabler for business growth, innovation and operational effectiveness

London Technology Week is celebrating London’s position as a “hot bed of innovation, business successes, entrepreneurship and creative talent”
latest thinking
19/06/2015
SME infographic

UK SME statistics from the Department for business, Innovation and Skills ONS.
latest thinking
08/06/2015
SMEs and Universities – Collaboration Can Bring Benefits to All

As Exemplas knows from working closely with the University community there are real and tangible economic benefits to be gained by small businesses working together and exchanging knowledge and skills with universities.
latest thinking
05/06/2015
Why export?

Let's look at a number of reasons to consider exporting.
blogs
05/06/2015
Measures announced to improve EU legislative process

We hear all the time about the burden of regulation and the impact of regulation on small business. The European Commission announced a package of measures under its Better Regulation Agenda to reduce the regulatory burden on small firms.
latest thinking
02/06/2015
A mission built on our passion for small business

By Jill Barnes, Chief Executive Calling small businesses the lifeblood of our economy might sound like a cliché. But it’s absolutely true. Just look at the figures: 99.3% of all UK private sector firms; over 15 million employees; and a combined turnover of more than £1.6 trillion. 
blogs
02/06/2015
Small Business Survey March 2015 – Summary of Trends in SME Performance

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills survey of business owners and managers in the UK (Small Business Survey 2014 - SME Employers March 2015) focuses on a range of issues including recent growth in sales turnover and employment, obstacles to business success, capabilities of owners and managers, access to finance and the use of business support.
latest thinking
01/06/2015