Promoting: Programs for and challenges of the knowledge-based small business
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Small businesses have long been recognized for their contributions to innovation, job creation and the overall health of most economies (Audretsch, 2004; North et al., 2001; Tilley and Tonge, 2003). Government policies in most countries, therefore, often include support measures and infrastructure to help nurture small businesses, particularly in relation to their innovation-related needs (North et al., 2001). Most recently, there has been growing interest in fostering the emergence of new and innovative small businesses, especially in the high-technology and knowledge-intensive sectors (Bridge et al., 2009). The ’high technology’ and ’knowledge-intensive sectors’ are those sectors of the economy that have significant levels of research and development expenditure, a high degree of human capital employed in science and technology-based activities and patent intensity. Typical examples include biotechnology, telecommunications, computer applications, energy, pharmaceutical, electronics, and materials technology sectors (Madsen et al., 2004). Within these sectors are emerging firms known as ’knowledge-intensive’ or ’knowledge-based’ businesses, which are seen as potential engines of economic growth (Davis and Botkin, 1994).
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