The Role and Importance of Gazelles and Other Growth Firms for Innovation and Competitiveness: Mercedes Bleda, Kathryn Morrison and John Rigby
This chapter focuses on the study of the role and importance of small, high-growth ﬁ rms for innovation and competitiveness, and the way in which policy support can stimulate their further development and growth. The chapter begins with a discussion of how these ﬁ rms (usually known as gazelles) have become a policy priority area. Gazelles are placed in the policy context and rationales for policy support are examined. The issue of what deﬁ nitions are used in this area is a key one. By varying size and growth criteria in the deﬁ nition of a gazelle ﬁ rm, it is possible to deﬁ ne various sets of growth ﬁ rms, each of which have fundamentally diff erent characteristics and policy requirements. We examine these deﬁ nitional issues and consider the ways in which policymakers should address support for gazelle ﬁ rms. We put forward the diffi culties of deﬁ ning precise and eff ective policies and illustrate the diff erent measures used so far in a variety of countries.