Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods
Sefydliad Ymchwil Gymdeithasol ac Economaidd, Data a Dulliau Cymru

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Social Enterprise in Wales, the UK and Europe

Work Package 3.1

Funder: ESRC

Start date: October 2014

End date: September 2016 

Research team

Catherine Robinson (University of Kent) & Philip Murphy (Swansea University)

This project will utilise a range of econometric approaches to analyse entrepreneurial activity, the growth in Social enterprise and the changing role of the third sector. Research will focus on the early stages of entrepreneurial activity and also on the survival and performance of small businesses in Wales (and beyond) as a means to contribute to economic growth and more widely, wellbeing.

The methodological framework will draw from a suite of econometric approaches, dependent on data availability and suitability. It is anticipated that these will include production function estimators, hazard models of survival and probit modelling techniques. Where possible, a longitudinal perspective will be taken, but comparability of data over time may mean that cross sectional analysis will be used.

The broad framework of analysis:

  • Beginning with simple logit modelling on the probability of individuals becoming entrepreneurs using GEM for Wales.
  • Scope for multi-level modelling using individual and regional data linking performance and entrepreneurial levels
  • PSED is a relatively new approach – panel study of entrepreneurial dynamics 
  • Look at survival of firms by using the Small Business Survey
  • Aim to differentiate between social enterprises and other start-ups
  • Using the BSD we can look at job creation and job destruction and also productivity decompositions for Wales (compared with other UK regions).

Research Questions

  • The extent of entrepreneurial activity in Wales in comparison with other UK regions; what sort of enterprise is displaying particularly significant birth/growth?
  • To what extent are social enterprises increasing in Wales and what are their characteristics?
  • What determines the survival of SMEs in Wales compared to other regions of the UK and are social enterprises more or less likely to survive?
  • What is the scale of the contribution of SMEs and social enterprises to employment and productivity (growth)?





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