The role of small business enterprise in a mature market economy is one of the major issues in contemporary industrial organization, and is the focus of this book. Small Business Enterprise brings new standards of rigour and insight into the study of small firms by importing contemporary ideas from industrial economics and by using up-to-date statistical and econometric techniques. Based on a uniquely rich set of data, Small Business Enterprise focuses on the early period after start-up of the small firm. It investigates competitive niches and how they are established, determinants of growth and profitability, the factors fostering survivial, and many other central issues. This core of economic analysis is complemented by an innovative case profile approach, which considers the real behaviour of small firms in a competitive environment; and a section on the political economy of small firms, which looks at the ethics of competition and the enterprise culture.