Photo of Richard Roberts

Richard Roberts

Professor, BSc (Hons) Bristol 1979, DPhil Oxford 1985, MBE


    Research output per year

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    Personal profile


    After completing my doctorate in the early 1980s I joined Barclays as an industrial economist specialising in small business issues.  I retired from Barclays after 30 years in 2014 having set up and run the bank's internal SME Research Team as well as working on numerous government reviews of SME lending and SME banking competition. I was also Chief Economist (Head of Profession) for Barclays UK Banking from 2000 to 2014.

    Prior to 2014 I was Barclays representative on numerous official committeess and organisations. Now in semi retirement I continue to be involved in a large range of SME activities such as

    • Advisor to the Treasury Select Committee on SME Finance
    • Consultancy work for UK Finance/British Bankers Association, the British Business Bank and some individual UK banks
    • Judge on the NESTA Open Up Banking Challenge
    • Member of the Investment Panel on the Responsible Finance RGF programme

    Research Interests

    At Aston I am a member of CREME and I have a long standing interest in issues relating to diversity and enterprise (especially finance issues). i support a number of team members in their research activities, as well in other areas of ABS

    My own research is concerned with the longer term development of Small Business Support policy in the UK (including a particular emphaiss on ethnic minority issues)

    I am also involved in research regarding the future funding of CDFIs/Enterprise Lenders in the UK (in conjunction with Steve Walker at Aston Reinvestment Trust) and on the advisory committee for the Cambridge Centre for Historical Geography looking at long term trends in the UK business stock

    In summary my research interests are

    ethnic and minority enterprise, business demographics, SME finance small business banking, small business policy



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    Education/Academic qualification

    PhD, University of Oxford

    Award Date: 1 May 1985

    External positions



    • HG Finance
    • Small business, banking
    • HA Statistics
    • Business Demographics

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    Research Output

    • 4 Article
    • 1 Book
    • 1 Chapter (peer-reviewed)
    • 1 Comment/debate

    Predicting new venture survival and growth: does the fog lift?

    Coad, A., Frankish, J. S., Roberts, R. & Storey, D., 17 Mar 2016, In : Small Business Economics. 47, 1, p. 217-241

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Why should banks provide entrepreneurship training seminars?

    Coad, A., Frankish, J. S., Roberts, R. & Storey, D., 1 Sep 2016, In : International Small Business Journal. 34, 6, p. 733-759

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Finance for small and entrepreneurial business

    Roberts, R., 2015, Routledge. 148 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBook

  • Measuring business activity in the UK

    Frankish, J. S., Roberts, R., Storey, D. & Coad, A., 2015, Handbook of Service Business: Management, Marketing, Innovation and Internationalisation. Bryson, J. R. & Daniels, P. W. (eds.). Edward Elgar, p. 146-169

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)