Research & Books

Griffith University research identifies survival factors for small business

WHAT FACTORS contribute to and hinder small business success? Are they similar for franchised and independent small businesses? Have these factors changed since the onset of the Global Recession in 2008?

Professor Lorelle Frazer, Griffith University

These are questions a Griffith University study has answered empirically for the first time.

New research, conducted by Griffith University's Asia-Pacific Centre for Franchising Excellence, compared surviving and failed small businesses during uncertain economic times in Australia from 2010 to 2012.

Centre director and lead researcher, Professor Lorelle Frazer, said the research revealed that failed business owners did not attribute economic uncertainty as being any more detrimental to their businesses than did survivors.

"Key differences between surviving and failed businesses tend to be internal factors, such as personality, adaptability and decision-making autonomy, rather than economic conditions alone," Prof. Frazer said.

"Failed business owners are more likely to be motivated to enter business due to circumstances beyond their control, such as ‘buying themselves a job' to avoid a negative situation like being unemployed or having no income, rather than based on being proactive towards business success.

"They were also more likely to be in partnership with someone as opposed to sole owners, which may explain why they feel restricted in decision-making and, to a certain extent, less adaptable."

The research reveals failed business owners tend to be older, have lower levels of formal education, feel they were forced into business ownership and be more likely to have a prevention-focused rather than be proactive towards success.

Alternatively, surviving business owners tend to be younger, hold higher levels of formal education, have greater levels of autonomy and adaptability, lower levels of debt, less access to finance and a better work-life balance.

While there was no significant difference in start-up costs between survivors and failed business owners, the percentage of start-up costs that were borrowed was greater by failed businesses.

"This indicates access to finance may not always support business survivability, as it may lead to higher levels of debt, which can be harder to service when times get tough," Prof. Frazer said.

"A better understanding of contractual obligations is also an area identified in the research as requiring greater attention from both franchisees and independent business owners."

The research was funded through an Australian Research Council Linkage grant with the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education and Franchise Council of Australia.

The research team included Centre deputy director, Associate Professor Scott Weaven and Centre researcher Prof. Debra Grace.

The full ‘Survival of the Fittest' research report can be downloaded at:



Govt report inspires industry to scientifically inspire Australia

BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Glaxo Smith Kline, Shell and the Queensland Seafood Industry Association all feature in a new publication designed to encourage businesses to promote the benefits of science and innovation.

Sharon Bird

Inspiring industry to inspire Australia highlights 15 industry initiatives that are fostering an appreciation of science in schools, communities and the workforce, and its potential to improve our world.

Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Sharon Bird said it would contribute to how Australians perceive and value science.

"This report offers an insight into the breadth of projects already underway, and adds a human dimension to Australia's science story," Ms Bird said.

For several companies featured in the report, spreading the word about science has led to commercial opportunities that would not have otherwise arisen.

The Minister for Science and Research, Senator Don Farrell, said companies that invested in the promotion of science were setting a great example.

"There is clear evidence that science pays dividends for businesses," Sen. Farrell said.

"It raises the profile of the company, boosts employee satisfaction, and forges relations with the local community. The companies and organisations featured in this publication are making a big contribution by taking science to the people."

The report was developed by Council for Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) with funding from the Australian Government as part of its national science engagement strategy, Inspiring Australia. Minister Bird launched the report this morning at the CHASS National Forum.

The publication is available at



Luxury Goods Sustainability report wins UK Farsight Award

The Farsight Award for 2012/13 has been awarded to the CA Cheuvreux group for the for their "outstanding report" Luxury Goods: Sustainability Sector Profile.

On March 19, 2013, the Farsight Award was presented to Stephane Voisin and his Sustainability Research and ESG team at CA Cheuvreux during the Sustainable City Awards ceremony at Mansion House.

Supported by Gresham College, Z/Yen Group and Long Finance's London Accord, the Farsight Award honours the best individual piece of analysis by an investment research institution that integrates traditional financial analysis with longer-term environmental social and governance (ESG) issues such as climate change, resource scarcity, corporate governance and human capital.

The award rewards excellence and innovation in financial research integrating ESG aspects. The Farsight Award is one of 12 award categories in the Sustainable City Awards organised by the City of London Corporation.

 The judges convened in January 2013 to discuss 95 investment research reports. They were extremely pleased by the high quality of the research submitted and by the wide range of ESG issues explored.  

Authored by Philippe Cornet, Luxury Goods: Sustainability Sector Profile (March 2012) finds that the Luxury Goods sector's endorsement of sustainability is mainly triggered by reputational risk mitigation.

The report explores how 130 major brands are managing the challenge of controlling reputational risk while seeking to meet growing demand. 

In particular, it analyses the implications and potential risks presented by key ESG issues such as raw materials, brand stretching, subcontracting, purchasing and producing in Asia.

The judges found that CA Cheuvreux winning report addressed an original topic and provided a useful analysis.

Pierre Stiennon, one of the judges, said: "The Cheuvreux luxury report is innovative in that it sheds light on a number of specific sustainability issues that have generally been left in the dark so far.  

"The report is compact in size, wide in the topics addressed and it is specific in assessing stock implications.

"It is a good example of a well-integrated report where one sector falls under the microscope of a sell side research team. The report will be of interest to long-term investors as well as to those who want to learn more about the sustainability drivers in the luxury sector."

It is the second time CA Cheuvreux has won a Farsight Award. The group won in 2008 with Utilities vs Carbon: Phase II

CA Cheuvreux received a trophy and will also be given a lecture opportunity with Gresham College as well as receiving recognition from the Long Finance and London Accord communities.

The judging panel decided to commend highly two additional reports:Bank of America Merrill Lynch for their report Less Is More: Global Energy Efficiency; and Deutsche Bank for Foreign Investment In Farmland: No Low-Hanging Fruit.

The criteria for the Farsight Award incluedes originality; quality; readability and clarity; sophistication and depth; and financial usefulness.  

This year, the judges evaluated 95 reports exploring a range of topics including climate change, water, energy and energy efficiency, environmental regulation and policy, education, healthcare, demographics, SRI, microfinance and impact investing.

These reports are all accessible free of charge on the London Accord section of the Long Finance website.


Four other reports were also shortlisted out of the 95:

¨      Bank of America Merrill Lynch - The Global Water Sector.

¨      CA Cheuvreux - Bribery & Corruption.

¨      Deutsche Bank - LT Asset Return Study: A Journey Into The Unknown.

¨      HSBC - No Water, No Power: Is There Enough Water To Fuel China's Power Expansion?


The judging panel for the Farsight Award 2012/13 comprised:

¨      Alice Chapple, director, ImpactValue;

¨      Professor Gwen Griffith-Dickson, director, The Lokahi Foundation;

¨      Jan-Peter Onstwedder, managing director, Risk Management, Institutional Clients Group, Citi;

¨      Melissa Brown, partner, Daobridge Capital Limited;

¨      Pierre Stiennon, senior financial analyst - Responsible Investment, AXA Investment Managers;

¨      Ouafaa Karim, director, Responsible Investment Association Australasia;

¨      Simon Mills, principal policy officer for Sustainable Development, City of London Corporation;

¨      Professor Michael Mainelli, executive chairman of Z/Yen Group Limited, who also chaired the panel of judges.


Professor Mainelli said: "Long Finance and the London Accord are impressed with the way the investment research community continues to develop environmental, social and governance issues in both breadth and depth. 

"We hope the financial community's 2013 viewpoint, contained in nearly 100 high quality reports, helps policy makers on subjects ranging from long-term asset management to long-term water management."


Farsight Award - previous years' winners:

¨      2011/12: Responsible Research - The Future of Fish in Asia.

¨      2010/11: Bank Sarasin - The World in a Dilemma between Prosperity and Resource Protection.

¨      2009/10: Société Générale - Green New Deal.

¨      2008/09: Credit Suisse - The Inconvenient Math: The Implications of Costed Carbon and More Inconvenient Math.

¨      2007/08: CA Cheuvreux - Utilities vs Carbon: Phase II.

¨      2006/07: Citigroup - Towards Sustainable Mining.


The report can be downloaded at:


About Gresham College

Gresham College was founded by Sir Thomas Gresham in 1597 and is an independently funded educational institution supported by the Mercers' Company and the City of London. Based in Barnard's Inn, Holborn, in the centre of London, it has provided free lectures for the past 400 years delivered by its eight professors of astronomy, commerce, divinity, geometry, law, music, physic and rhetoric, and initiated the Royal Society. The lectures were established by Sir Thomas, a leading London merchant who founded the Royal Exchange, and are designed to engage Londoners in research and intellectual debate on matters which concern the city. Professors have included Robert Hooke, Sir Christopher Wren, Professor Colin Pillinger (Beagle-2 expedition to land a craft on Mars), renowned mathematician Sir Roger Penrose and Templeton Prize winner Professor John Barrow.


About Z/Yen Group Limited

Z/Yen is the City of London's leading commercial think-tank, founded to promote societal advance through better finance and technology. Z/Yen "asks, solves and acts" on strategy, finance, systems, marketing and intelligence projects in a wide variety of fields. Z/Yen activities include the development of an award-winning risk/reward prediction engine, which helped a global charity win a good governance award; and benchmarking transaction costs across global investment banks. Z/Yen produces a wide variety of research, including the Global Financial Centres Index. Z/Yen creates and leads communities of interest, such as the Long Finance and London Accord communities with Gresham College and the City of London Corporation.


About Long Finance and the London Accord

Long Finance aims to improve society's understanding and use of finance over the long term. Long Finance runs four programmes - the London Accord, Financial Centre Futures, Meta-Commerce and Eternal Coin - as well as hosting and promoting a series of lectures, discussion events and research publications.  The initiative began with a question -­ "when would we know our financial system is working?" - and seeks to challenge a financial system that revolves around short-term thinking and practices. Long Finance is supported by the City of London Corporation, Gresham College and Z/Yen Group.



United Nations Development Programme reports on the 'Rise of the South'


The UNDP 2013 Human Development Report - The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World - was has revealed the fast-rising power of the developing world.

Is business heading South? UNDP report thinks so.




The 2013 Human Development Report examines the profound shift in global dynamics driven by the fast-rising powers of the developing world - and its implications for human development.

What the UNDP calls ‘The South' is developing at a pace unprecedented in human history, with hundreds of millions of people being lifted out of poverty in developing nations and billions more poised to join a new global middle class.

According to the UNDP report, it is not only the so called BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) that are at the forefront of the rise of the South. Bangladesh, Chile, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Vietnam are among the human-development high achievers highlighted.

An updated Human Development Index (HDI) was also released in the 2013 Report. The HDI measures national progress in health, education and income.

The report is available through:



Employee cyber security breaches greatest in Asia-Pacific region

RESEARCH into cyber attacks against business has revealed the Asia-Pacific region receives more than double the global average. Image A survey by B2B International and Kaspersky Lab has also found company security breaches involving human error occur most often in the Asia-Pacific region.

The survey, Global Corporate IT Security Risks for 2013, also found that companies from the Asia-Pacific region recorded the highest level of incidents relating to the theft or loss of personal devices by staff - at 36 percent. The global average for this type of threat is at 30 percent.

The percentage of companies in the region experiencing targeted cyber attacks is 17 percent against 9 percent globally.

"The findings suggest that staff-related security breaches have helped create the perception that APAC companies are vulnerable. This helps explain why companies in our region are being targeted at a rate which sits at nearly double the global average," Sam Bryce-Johnson, Kaspersky Lab Australia and New Zealand technical manager, said.

According to the data collected by B2B International analysts, on average such incidents cost a company up to $2.4 million, of which about $2.17 million stems directly from the incident itself in the form of losses from critical data leakages, business interruptions, and expenses for remediation specialist services.

Mr Bryce-Johnson said the remaining costs go towards future preventative measures.

He said the end goals of such attacks are typically about obtaining secret or confidential information from a specific company. Leakage of this data could lead to significant losses.

Company losses resulting from targeted attacks on small and medium enterprises are noticeably lower, at about $92,000 per incident, but considering the size of these companies, the blow suffered by a company is still substantial.

"The findings show that companies which invest in preventative measures, particularly in relation to staff training, end up saving a lot more in the long-term," Mr Bryce-Johnson said. "It requires an attitudinal shift in our understanding of IT security and the role which employees have to play."

Kaspersky Lab is the world's largest privately held anti-malware company. It delivers some of the world's most immediate protection against IT security threats. Over 300 million people worldwide are protected by Kaspersky Lab products and technologies. Kaspersky Lab's corporate client base exceeds 200,000 companies located around the globe, ranging from SME businesses, through to government and large commercial organisations. Kaspersky Lab's Australian and New Zealand headquarters is located in Melbourne, providing local technical support.

The report can be accessed through the link:




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