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Is small beautiful?

We hear a lot about the vital role that small and medium-sized enterprises play in the health and development of the economy. A recent talk to an Edinburgh Chamber event given by Zack Sorrells of the US market analysts Eureka Ranch International underlined why.

He revealed that research by Eureka into the role of SMEs had shown that of the most important innovations that have radically altered the US economy for the better since 1945, two-thirds have come from start-up companies. That is a truly remarkable figure, especially given the role of industrial behemoths in the US.

Perhaps it is because start-ups start with a good idea. Or is it because small companies are more nimble in getting those good ideas moving? They think about and work on the product, marketing and profitability all at the one time while bigger organisations grind to a halt in the quagmire of "meetings".

Whatever the reason, Sorrells made it clear that the lesson is being learned in US business where big companies are starting to behave like small ones when it comes to innovation.

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