This book, originally published in 1984, examines the role of small firms in Britain, Germany, France and Italy and critically appraises government policies towards them. It reassesses economic theories concerned with concentration and competition, theories which need some re-thinking to accommodate the growing importance of small business.

Part 1: The Small Firm 1. Introduction 2. The Small Firm Part 2: New Firm Formation: The Theory 3. The New Firm: An Economic Perspective 4. New Firm Formation: Some Non-Economic Approaches Part 3: New Firm Formation: Some Empirical Results 5. A Survey of New Firms 6. The Personal Characteristics of New Firm Founders 7. Getting Started 8. Finance for the New Firm 9. Impact on the Local Economy Part 4: Implications for Policy 10. New Firms: The Regional Perspective 11. Small Firms Policies: A Critique