To what extent can governments supplement private venture capitalists and stimulate the economy by providing money to new entrepreneurs as well as existing enterprises? The UK’s National Enterprise Board (NEB) attempted to do just this, and whilst it gained most publicity through its efforts to bail out ailing giants such as British Leyland and Rolls Royce Aerospace, much of its attention was actually directed to smaller ventures. Originally published in 1988 Professor Kramer reports that the NEB’s record of success was surprisingly good, and that many flourishing undertakings would not be in business today had it not been for the NEB’s efforts. The author goes further, and after discussing the political and economic issues involved in according public aid to private enterprises on a case by case basis, he argues that not only should the UK revive its NEB, but that other countries, notably the United States, could benefit by establishing their own versions of it. Indeed, throughout, the author’s perspective as an outsider makes him peculiarly alive to the relevance of the UK example to a whole range of international cases.

As the first scholarly, full-length study of the NEB, this book will be of value to those interested in the relationships between venture capitalists generally and the enterprises in which they take equity. It will also interest those studying the relationship between holding companies and their subsidiaries.

chapter 1|28 pages


chapter 2|15 pages

The NEB’s Profit and Loss Record

chapter 5|6 pages

The NEB and the Department of Industry

chapter 7|13 pages

Highlights of the Case Studies

chapter 8|15 pages


chapter 9|7 pages

The Insac Debacle

chapter 10|19 pages

The Nexos Disaster

chapter 11|6 pages

Alfred Herbert

chapter 12|8 pages

Fairey and Ferranti

chapter 13|9 pages

Rolls Royce

chapter 14|12 pages

British Leyland

chapter 15|5 pages

The NEB and The Ministry of Defence

chapter 17|6 pages

Does the US Need an NEB?

chapter 20|12 pages

The NEB: An Example of Co-operation