A Micro Business Leadership Development Framework

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Small businesses are crucial for regional and national economic development (Thorpe et al., 2009), specifically contributing towards productivity for long-term economic growth (BEISC, 2019). Notwithstanding the level of government funded support programmes focused on the small business (Gray and Jones, 2016), there is a void of leadership development training. Recent UK statistics underscore the high rate of failure of new businesses in the first five years (ONS, 2018) and point out lack of leadership skills as a key contributor (CMI, 2015). Given research and indeed practitioner evidence of leadership development programmes for small business owner/managers (Hutchinson 2017), this paper focuses on business and leader benefits of collaboration between University and industry in delivering a leadership programme for micro business owner/managers in the Creative Industries. Adapting the Hutchinson (2017) Lead2Grow model, the authors report early research findings of a Design Thinking led learning approach to develop the leadership skills of micro business owner/managers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of BAM 2020 Conference in the Cloud
PublisherBritish Academy of Management
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Sept 2020


  • Leadership Development
  • Design Thinking
  • University Collaboration
  • Creative Industries
  • Micro Business


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