Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University
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Abstract Details

Factors Affecting the Use of Public Support Services by SME Owners: Evidence from a Periphery Region of Canada
Vol. Volume 12, Number 2 June/2007

Josee Audet and Etienne St-Jean

Public authorities throughout the world, recognizing both the importance and fragility of SMEs, have over the years created agencies and set up numerous venture development support and assistance measures. Despite all these efforts, SME owner-managers do not appear to make maximum use of the services available. Results from a survey of 70 SME owner-managers show that the likelihood of an SME using public support services increases as the perceived usefulness of public agencies and their services increases, and as the level of knowledge of public agencies increases. Furthermore, the probability of using public support services decreases as the experience of the owner-manager increases. On the one hand, many owner-managers do not seem to understand the utility or relevance of the services the agencies provide, while on the other they do not seem to know enough about the agencies working in their region. However, most of the owner-managers who had used the agencies felt the services they had received were appropriate to their needs. Therefore, the problem appears to lie more with the perceptions of certain owner-managers than with the nature or quality of the services themselves.