Edited by Patrizio Bianchi and Sandrine Labory
Chapter 18: Business Support Policies
Nicola Bellini 1 Introduction This chapter reviews the various analytical approaches to business support policies. Within the general framework of industrial policies, one may identify a set of policies speciﬁcally aiming at assisting enterprises or entrepreneurs to develop their businesses successfully and to respond eﬀectively to the challenges of their business, social and physical environment. These policies are diﬀerent from other policies that, instead of assisting businesses, either regulate or induce (or discourage) a certain kind of behaviour of companies and individuals, although they may be linked to each other not only in strategic, but also in operational, terms. Recent developments show that a large share of industrial policy objectives rely on the appropriate delivery of support policies. This happens especially when SMEs’ policies are concerned with the aim of promoting entrepreneurship, innovation and technology transfer, or internationalization. The relevance of support policies has been recognized in many countries, mainly at local and regional (or state) level. In several countries, however, support policies are dealt with by national programmes and organizations.1 The development of ‘top class business support services’ has been identiﬁed as a priority by the European Commission (CEC, 2001). The importance of business support has been repeatedly emphasized by international organizations such as the OECD and UNIDO2 in the ﬁeld of economic cooperation and development. Undoubtedly the increased relevance of ‘indirect’ industrial policies owes much to the emergence of the neoliberal consensus in contemporary industrial economies. Support policies are often described as ‘being industry-driven...
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