Opportunities and Challenges for Small and Medium Sized Business (SMEs)

The Next Five Years


SME Report Front



Published in 2007


This study looks at why people start their own business, what challenges they see in their marketplace, how they see the small and medium sized (SME) business sector developing, how they attract and retain talent and leaders, how they plan to address cultural and marketing issues and finally the plans business owners have to ‘exit’ their organizations. We asked our business panel to think about all of these issues on a five year timeframe. Our intent is to provide business leaders with a perspective on the future of SMEs that will help guide them on their journeys to the end of the first decade of the 21st century. Shirlaws, a global business coaching firm, commissioned Global Futures and Foresight, a strategic futures think tank, to undertake this study.


A great deal is changing across the world which attracts our attention and demands a response from us. Issues shaping business around the globe include Globalization, the rise of fast growth economies such as China, India, Brazil and Mexico, our impact on the environment, falling birth rates in many societies, shifting political power, and increasing global regulation and the inexorable rise of technological innovation.


Click on the 'Related Articles' link "Opportunities and Challenges for SMEs - The Next Five Years"  on the left hand side of the screen to download the report.

David Smith, 19/10/2007