Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Start-up, Growth and Maturity

by Paul Burns New Venture Creation Corporate Entrepreneurship

About the author

Paul Burns is Emeritus Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Bedfordshire Business School, UK. He has been Pro Vice Chancellor and for 10 years was Dean of the Business School, stepping down in 2011. Over his 40-year career he has been an academic, an accountant and an entrepreneur – giving him unrivalled academic and practical insight into the entrepreneurial process. As well as launching and running his own business, he has helped develop hundreds of business plans and has worked with entrepreneurs, small firms and their advisors, helping launch successful businesses.

For 10 years he was Professor of Small Business Development at Cranfield School of Management, UK, where, in 1983, he launched the Graduate Enterprise Programme in England, which was offered at dozens of universities. He started his academic career at Warwick University Business School, UK, where he set up their first Small Business Unit. For eight years he was Director of 3i European Enterprise Research Centre, researching small firms and entrepreneurs across Europe. He has been a Visiting Fellow at Harvard Business School, USA, and for three years was Visiting Professor at the Open University Business School, UK, where he developed the multi-media Small Business Programme which was screened on BBC2. He is Fellow and a former President of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE).

Paul qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co., where he worked with many growing businesses. He launched and ran his own business, Design for Learning Ltd., advising and training on entrepreneurship and growing firms where he worked with
organizations such as the accounting firms Grant Thornton and BDO Stoy Hayward, venture capitalists 3i, and banks such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and Lloyds. He has advised and consulted at various levels of government in the UK and overseas, and Margaret Thatcher wrote the forward to one of his books, Entrepreneur: Eight British success stories of the
eighties (Macmillan, 1988).

Paul has authored dozens of books and hundreds of journal articles and research reports. His last textbook, New Venture Creation: A framework for entrepreneurial start-ups (Palgrave Macmillan) was published in 2014. This sets out a comprehensive framework to help students through the whole process of new venture creation, including finding a business idea, developing a value proposition for customers and refining a business model that can be developed into a professional business plan. It has been praised as ‘the go-to-guide when it comes to new venture creation’ that is ‘bound to ensure that this book becomes a core text for new venture creation modules’.

Corporate Entrepreneurship: Innovation and strategy in large organizations (Palgrave Macmillan) was first published in 2005. The third edition, published in 2013, was praised as a ‘definitive guide’ that ‘combines a profound understanding of theory with practical guidance’. It shows how strategies for encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation might be embedded in larger organizations through the concept of ‘architecture’ – leadership, culture and structure.