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The Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain


Latest report

The Quarterly Survey of Small Business in Britain has provided an authoritative and independent insight into a variety of issues over the last three decades for the benefit of researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, a contribution that is celebrated in our special anniversary report (Q4 2014), which is now available to download.  As the concluding section of this report suggests, members of the research team are now conducting a review of our work in this area in order to keep it relevant to a rapidly-changing environment and to better serve the needs of audiences in the UK and internationally, and will be announcing a new format later this year.

Free access to the Quarterly Survey

You can now get a free PDF download of the latest survey report in our extensive archive of previous reports dating back to 1990.

Research and sponsorship opportunities

The Open University Business School has an active group of researchers working on issues related to enterprise and innovation. Please contact Dr Richard Blundel to discuss potential options, including corporate sponsorship, and commissioned reports.


The Quarterly Survey has been monitoring small business attitudes and performance since 1984 when it was created by Graham Bannock, research director of the pioneering Bolton Report on small firms. Survey findings have been used by policy-makers, businesses and researchers, as well as providing news stories in both general and specialist media. Each quarterly report represents the views and experiences of more than 1,000 owners and managers. The data is gathered from a national structured sample, conducted by telephone, and through a parallel online survey in order to reflect the complexity and richness of business life in Britain today. The survey findings are complemented by a set of in-depth case studies, based on interviews with respondents. The Quarterly Survey report is edited by Dr Richard Blundel and draws on the experience of other Open University academics. The survey attracts external funding and offers opportunities to sponsor special topic questions or to commission additional studies. The Quarterly Survey is editorially independent and any opinions expressed in its reports are not necessarily those of The Open University or of any other organisations.

Order or download editions from our archive