Purpose This paper attempts to examine the UK’s SMEs policies under Margaret Thatcher’s era in the 1980s, with a view to understand the success stories, historical development and the structures of Chinese family business through a case study of See Woo Holdings Ltd. Design/methodology/approach We have achieved the objective on the study of the SMEs policies under Margaret Thatcher through critical evaluation of the historical literatures, books, journals and newspapers. The study on overseas Chinese business and the case of See Woo Holdings Ltd. is mainly through our research of the Chinese overseas in the UK and Southeast Asia and the companies report from the Companies House in the UK. We have used the latest 2011 UK Census statistics and academic reports to locate the most current demographic changes and Chinese business characteristics in the UK and the Northeast of England. Findings First, the UK’s SMEs policies under Margaret Thatcher were quite receptive towards the ethnic business. Secondly, the case of See Woo Holdings Ltd. indicates that family business networks are still one of the characteristics of Chinese business. Finally, the broader UK's SMEs policies play an important role in our case study. Originality/value We provide a tentative linkage between the UK’s SMEs policies under Margaret Thatcher and Chinese family business. In addition, the case study of See Woo Holdings Ltd. improves our current understanding of Chinese family business with a clearer picture about their structure, practice, characteristics and development.
Cheung, G. C., & Gomez, E. T. (2016). When Margaret Thatcher met the Chinese: UK’s SMEs policies in the 1980s and the case of See Woo Holdings. Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies, 8(3), 335-354. https://doi.org/10.1108/jeee-04-2015-0031