SBRC current research

Learn more about some of the different research projects currently being undertaken at the Small Business Research Centre.

Leading to Grow Programme

The Leading to Grow Programme is an ongoing project, funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, and Innovate UK. Led by the SBRC, Kingston Business School, along with 14 other Chartered Association of Business Schools across the UK, investigates the influence of digital education on the growth of microbusinesses. The project is being conducted by Audley Genus, Bahare Afrahi, Martha Mador, and Sahar Mansoori. The programme will help small business owners to explore new technologies suited to their business goals, and to develop the management capabilities they need to implement the technologies. The research design employs a random controlled trial method, whereby one group of businesses will receive an intervention and a control group that does not. Learn more about the Leading to Grow Programme.

Exploring the London freelance workforce

Freelancers are important contributors to the London economy. This report presents data drawn from official UK government sources to build a portrait of the capital's 400,000 freelancers with regard to gender, age, occupation. The project, led by Professor John Kitching, was commissioned by IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed.

The Quality of New Forms of Self-Employment, OECD

This project, headed by Professor John Kitching, draws on secondary sources to investigate new forms of self-employment in the developed economies. Specifically, the aims are to: Identify emerging forms of self-employment and their key characteristics; compare the quality of new forms of self-employment with the more ‘traditional' models of full-time solo self-employment and employment'; explore what types of policies and programmes aim to ensure that these new forms of self-employment are ‘quality' labour market activities; and to provide some key messages for policy-makers.

Freelancing and Flexibility: How Freelancers Enable Organisations to Meet Their Labour Requirements, British Academy

Professor John Kitching and Dr Mara Iskandarova are working on a study that develops our understanding of the expanding UK freelance labour market by investigating working practices in two contrasting sectors - publishing and architecture. Prior research on freelancing has been limited and fragmented and has focused largely on worker characteristics. The study extends previous research by investigating the demand for freelancers' services and specifically the need for workforce flexibility.

The study investigates (1) the nature, extent and drivers of end-user demand for freelancers, and the effect of using freelancers on organisational performance; (2) freelancers' responses to end-users' flexibility policies and the impact on working practices. Overall, the study develops our understanding of how end-users and workers jointly produce a dynamic and flexible freelance labour market and the challenges the parties face.

Contact us

Prof Audley Genus
Director, Small Business Research Centre
Kingston Business School