A tribute to David Storey

17 January 2024

David Storey was a pioneer in the field of entrepreneurship, who influenced policymaking, won significant awards, and wrote crucial publications such as his books “The Small Firm: an International Survey” (1983) and “Understanding the Small Business Sector” (1994). Mr. Storey spent his life advocating for a more active SME and Entrepreneurship policy, analysing critical issues such as governments that spend huge amounts of money to promote national industrial champions or save ill managed large firms or banks (too big to fail) in comparison with startups and small businesses. INSME President Sergio Arzeni first met David Storey in the 80s, after reaching out to him because he wished to persuade him to study the case of the Italian economy, which is strongly based on SMEs, after noticing that the Italian experience was missing in Mr. Storey’s first book “The Small Firm: an International Survey”.
David Storey was awarded in 2010 an OBE (Order of the British Empire) medal just for his academic record, but also, and foremost, for his services as a Specialist Advisor to the UK government, the House of Commons. Besides, as a Member of the Small Business Council and consultant he has been actively shaping small business policy making in his own country and to foreign nations such as Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Denmark and Sweden. He was also consultant at the OECD where he advised in designing policy recommendations to governments in the field of entrepreneurship and SME development, where he worked with INSME President, Sergio Arzeni.
During the 80s and 90s, Arzeni fought at the OECD, which was essentially a macro-economic organization, to demonstrate the relevance of policies fostering enterprise creation, SME promotion and local development. This led to the creation of the OECD Working Party on SMEs and the LEED Program on Local Economic and Employment Development in the early 90s which were folded in the early 2000 in the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SME and Local Development under Mr. Arzeni’s Direction. David Storey was one of the leading academic experts that supported with economic research the growing attention paid by policy makers to entrepreneurship, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, place-based industrial policies, regional and social development.
Mr. Arzeni remembers this dear colleague, who passed away in August of 2023, with the following closing words: “The legacy of David Storey is relevant not only for his academic achievements, but also for his humanity and his influence on policy making. David was an exceedingly kind person; I never heard him raise his voice, which was always soft. He used to respond to criticism with a smile, spelling out his point with a plain, round, tone. His humanity was expressed best with tolerance with dissenting opinions, with his listening capacity to students and with the value he gave to friendship.”

Source: INSME Secretariat

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