ABSTRACT

Abstract Government intervention has increasingly identified deprived communities as a key focus for enterprise support. This chapter examines attitudes and perceptions to enterprise support in a deprived community in the UK city of Leeds. A survey of 142 entrepreneurs and potential entrepreneurs, and 18 follow-up in-depth interviews with entrepreneurs, were conducted with people living in the study area. The survey examined the entrepreneurial activity of members of the community, and usage of enterprise support. The chapter finds that certain forms of enterprise support in deprived communities may actually discourage entrepreneurship. Also, where entrepreneurial ventures are supported they tend to operate in activities relating to generic trades with low entry barriers, with many enterprises having little actual or perceived requirement for extern al support, as it was likely that these would have been established with or without support. Increased investment in the supply of enterprise support may not lead to increased levels of entrepreneurship. Support which aims to engage with people who have never considered starting a business, or do not have the skills required to launch and grow aventure, is unlikely to be cost-effective given their low growth potential.