Posted Friday 27 March 2020
Tributes have been paid to a highly respected and popular academic at Kingston Business School. Professor David Smallbone, Associate Director of Kingston University's renowned Small Business Research Centre (SBRC) and an internationally significant scholar on enterprise and small business, has sadly passed away aged 73.
A much admired colleague and friend to many across the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences, Professor Smallbone was a leading expert on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and SME policy. He joined Kingston Business School's SBRC in July 2004, having previously founded and led the successful development of the Centre for Enterprise and Economic Development Research at Middlesex University.
The esteemed researcher had been involved in the fields of entrepreneurship and small businesses since the 1980s and developed a particular specialism in transition economies. Professor Smallbone was involved in research on small business development in countries such as Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, as well as the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belarus, Uzbekistan and China. During his illustrious career he was president of both the International Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ICSB) and the European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ECSB), as well as Associate Editor of the Journal of Small Business Management.
Professor Smallbone was also a visiting professor in entrepreneurship at China's University of Geosciences and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Danish Entrepreneurship Academy. In 2005, he was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of Lodz, Poland for his contribution to the study of entrepreneurship, policy and practice in transition economies.
As a leading researcher on SMEs and SME policy, he was a regular presenter at national and international conferences. He published three books and more than 100 articles and book chapters on various topics including enterprise development in rural areas, ethnic minority and immigrant entrepreneurship, innovation in SMEs, entrepreneurship and social inclusion and internationalisation.
Professor Smallbone also worked on the international stage for clients such as the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The lifelong Arsenal fan, who will be remembered by many as a visionary and true gentleman, had been diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and was in hospital being treated for Parkinson's-related pneumonia.
Professor Audley Genus, Director of the SBRC, paid tribute to Professor Smallbone. "David was a highly respected and very popular colleague. Over many years, he made an outstanding contribution to the SBRC and to the wider community of small business and entrepreneurship researchers. Staff, students and all those with whom he worked will miss him very much. Our thoughts are with his wife Margaret and his family and friends at this sad time."