Corporate governance is now seen as an essential building block of stable economies. It helps to protect the rights and interests of shareholders and, increasingly, those of other stakeholders, providing a framework for effective monitoring of management actions and performance and for encouraging better business results.
The challenge for SMEs is that established corporate governance frameworks have been developed with large, listed companies primarily in mind. Such frameworks and codes may not reflect the characteristics of the SME, where owners may often be its managers as well, or where company ownership may be shared across family members.
This report aims to encourage understanding of what corporate governance means for SMEs. It draws extensively on material presented and discussed during a seminar organised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and ACCA, and followed up with discussions at the Global Forum for SMEs in March 2015.