Business And Law
St. Kilda, Melbourne. Photograph courtesy of Tourism Victoria.

The SBRG investigates issues of importance to small and medium sized enterprises, producing outcomes to enhance their performance. We do this by:

  • maintaining a comprehensive range of business knowledge to conduct industry focused research and business development activities
  • communicating and sharing knowledge on research regarding small business with the business community, government, and business service providers
  • facilitating partnerships with industry, government, education institutions, and business support providers to improve the activities and performance of small business
  • developing a range of benchmarking tools for small enterprises to enable them to implement strategies to improve their performance
  • delivering high quality research that is relevant and practical

What we do

Home Based Businesses: This sector makes up over 60% of small businesses and makes a significant contribution to Australia’s economic and social well being. The SBRG investigates their their growth capacity, and the role of technology in supporting such growth, ability to provide local employment opportunities. Further work will examine sustainability issues in the sector.

Small Tourism Enterprises: This program aims to better understand the learning and information channels used by small and medium sized firms in the tourism sector, thus facilitating increased engagement with Governments and industry associations. Learnings from this program will be transferrable to most other industry sectors.

Accounting Services For Small Business: This program investigates the use and potential applicability of web-supported communication and services among Australian accounting firms. The most significant finding of this study was that accountants see their client relationships as the most important aspect of their business and will not introduce any technology or innovations that will place these relationships at risk. Accounting websites are generally developed to keep up with competition and to enhance and to value-add to the delivery of client services.

Business Harvesting And Exits: Business exits have the potential generate billions of dollars of activity each year, though many small business operators do not receive the full value of their business when they exit. This study investigates the process and the contributing factors for SME owners to successfully exit their businesses. The study identified that there were two types of exit scenarios; reactive and proactive. Owner’s characteristics (craftsman/opportunists) also provide an insight into the exit process which owners undergo.

Current Projects

  • Effective Learning and Information Channels for Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises

For further information, visit our Projects page.

Our Research Team

Professor John Breen has been involved in research in the small business sector for twenty one years. During that period he has conducted research in collaboration with industry partners across a variety of industries including projects investigating accounting practices, child care, community banking, agriculture and tourism.

Rodney Con Foo is an experienced small business operator with a twenty year background in owning and successfully managing a range of businesses. In more recent times he has acted as a mentor for small business owners and his research interest has been on business harvesting/exits.

Professor Brian King has extensive tourism industry experience having occupied management roles in tour operations, resort, cruise-ship and airline sectors. His recent research in the small enterprise field has included a review of the effectiveness of online tourism for the Victorian Government and has published on the strategic marketing practices of tourism based SMEs.

Dr Stephen Burgess has conducted research into the use of information and communications technologies in small businesses for over a decade. His major research interest in this field is the use of the Internet by small businesses, particularly small tourism businesses, export businesses, accounting practices and community based organisations.

Research Partners

We have worked on major projects with both commercial and government partners, nationally and internationally. Project partners include:

  • Telstra consumer and Marketing
  • Consultel Pty Ltd
  • PA Australia
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants
  • APEC
  • Commonwealth and State Government Departments
  • Local Councils
  • AusIndustry

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