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Debate continues about the importance of small and medium-sized businesses for growth and banks' willingness to lend to them. Director Andrew Freeman's report, 'Finance for Growth, Challenging myths about the funding of small businesses' argues firstly, rather than think small, we should think growth. If most SMEs have no immediate ambition to grow, we should focus on those with the will and potential for significant growth regardless of size. Secondly, we need to look outside traditional bank lending to devise a funding environment able to support the risks associated with innovation and start-ups. Policy should move from subsidising the SME sector as a whole towards targeted interventions, including mentoring and alternative funding, aimed at those whose ambition is for growth not ongoing stability.   
In a linked piece of research Andrew Freeman asks what we really know about entrepreneurs? Widely regarded as social heroes, generating jobs, inventing new things and providing examples of personal fulfilment, governments seek to encourage them. A constant flow of new market entrants suggests economic dynamism and promises future growth. Increasing that flow seems self-evidently sensible. How real is this picture? Andrew's report Heroes or Zeros, supported by Santander, argues for a more nuanced policy, suggesting entrepreneurs as a category are more elusive than we think, and asking whether government subsidy for new ventures in general is worthwhile in light of our lack of certainty.
Its principal focus is on the individuals who become, or aspire to become, entrepreneurs? What motivates them? Can we assess their personalities? Are there ‘markers’of future entrepreneurial success? Do they get better by learning from experience, and can they be supported to develop the right skills in the early stages?