Small Grant Scheme on Pandemics, Cities, Regions & Industry: Manage Well-Being to be Innovative in the Covid-19: A study of BAME Small Business Owners in the West Midlands Region, UK
- Principal Investigator: Bach Nguyen, Aston University, UK
- Team member: Hai-Anh Tran, Aston University, UK
The Covid pandemic has caused chaos for many UK businesses, especially small enterprises. The Enterprise Research Centre (2021) suggests that the UK economy loses about 61,500 small firms due to the pandemic. Accordingly, the recipe for survival is a thorough transformation to adapt products, services, and business models in a new climate. “Pivoting” has become a watchword for UK small businesses as they have to find a way to deal with the crisis and prepare for recovery post-Covid 19. However, not every company is willing or financially able to pivot. Against this backdrop, this project conducts two studies: (1) an investigation of the large-scale Longitudinal Small Business Survey and (2) an experimental study to explore the effects of financial and informational support on the UK SMEs’ pivot capacity during and after Covid. More importantly, the project also examines how different regional factors (e.g., regional well-being) and entrepreneurs’ characteristics (e.g., mindset, ethnic group, well-being) influence the effects of financial and informational support on SMEs’ pivots.
We greatly appreciate the support we received from the RSA Small Grant Scheme on Pandemics, Cities, Regions, and Industry. The grant will help us to develop timely research that serves as a trusted guide for decision-makers to support SMEs in the UK (i.e., focusing on financial and informational support) to overcome the challenges of Covid 19. The project also adds new knowledge and understanding of regionals’ and entrepreneurs’ characteristics that influence SMEs’ pivot capacity. We have been interested in the idea since the Covid pandemic happened, and we are delighted that the Regional Studies Association has trust in its values and contributions.