Defining the Small Business and Microenterprise: A Mixed Methodology Study

Mixed method study focused on defining small business and micro-enterprises


Small businesses dot the American landscape and have stimulated the economy for the past two centuries.  The definitions for small businesses have changed consistently over the course of the last five decades.  While some businesses are considered small if they have fewer than 500 employees, other businesses seem to get lost in the process simply because they fall into a microenterprise category including the Mom and Pop companies, family owned companies, and those individuals that are considered self-employed.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) has been the authority on defining what is or is not a small business.  With this in mind, this study used a mixed methodology to explore the definitions of small businesses and microenterprises by surveying 388 MBAs and CPAs in the United States with the goal of creating a better understanding of what constitutes a small business and a microenterprise.  When all was said and done, the definitions of small businesses and microenterprise still remain a mystery, however a broader understanding of the difficulties associated with defining the two is brought to the forefront.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Anastasia, Christina M
Year of Publication: 
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Journal of Management Policy and Practice.
North American Business Press
Date Published: 
Sunday, December 20, 2015
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ISSN Number: 
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Boyer's Domain: 

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