This year we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (JSBE) which was launched in the summer of 1983 as a quarterly journal. Originally named Journal of Small Business – Canada, the journal’s initial objective was to stimulate interest in research and publication in the area of small business and entrepreneurship development in Canada. Under the leadership of Editor-in-Chief Raymond W. Y. Kao and 5 editorial board members, the Journal published “research works, research-related works, research-based works, works of a conceptual nature but based on well-founded and developed arguments, works of practical educational value, and works of practical value that are able to provide direct benefit to small business operators or consultants.” (Kao, 1983, p. 44).

The journal quickly gained traction and was renamed to Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in 1985 to reflect the true nature of its coverage. By that time, JSBE had had subscribers worldwide “Canadians from coast to coast, and individuals and institutions from as far away as New Zealand, Finland and Australia” (Kao, 1985, p. 3) and published papers aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and developing small businesses that extended beyond Canadian borders. This was the year when the journal began accepting papers in either English or French with an abstract in both languages and committed to broadening its international scope. Fourteen years later, JSBE became self‑reliant and was no longer dependent on financial support from the Bank of Montreal, the Royal Bank of Canada, and the Business Development Bank of Canada  (Kao, 1997). In November 2002, JSBE was acquired by the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship – CCSBE/CCPME – which was formed in 1979 as the first affiliate of the International Council for Small Business whose members include academics, educators, representatives of small business support organizations, researchers, government officials, students of entrepreneurship, and policy makers. This development significantly increased JSBE outreach.

In 2004, Robert B. Anderson succeeded Raymond Kao. As a new Editor-in-Chief, he received a small grant from Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council called Aid to Research and Transfer Journals that helped defray costs associated with the preparation and publication of the journal from 2004 to 2007. In the 5 years under his management, JSBE maintained a steady publication schedule of 4 issues per year and gained a strong international reputation. In line with scholarly interests of the period, JSBE publications covered a wider range of topics, from entrepreneurs’ attributes to firm growth but the majority were from studies of Canadian firms.

In 2010, JSBE welcomed its 3rd Editor-in-Chief, Jean-Marie Nkongolo-Bakenda, who co-edited the first two issues with Robert B. Anderson and took complete control of the journal from June 2010 until May 2015. Under his leadership, JSBE underwent major transformation. JSBE had now positioned itself as a research journal that “pushes the boundaries of current entrepreneurial and small business management thought – theoretical pieces, qualitative and quantitative empirical work, and/or case studies” (Nkongolo-Bakenda, 2012p. IV). As such, it stopped accepting manuscripts oriented solely towards practitioners. Jean-Marie Nkongolo-Bakenda and JSBE’s owner – CCSBE/CCPME – succeeded in preparing the important groundwork to propel JSBE internationally in terms of both subject coverage, authorship, and circulation. After 30 years being copy-edited and distributed by university publishers (by Centre of Entrepreneurship at Centennial College from June 1983 to October 2002 and by Canadian Plains Research Centre at University of Regina from November 2002 to December 2012), JSBE began working with a major international publisher based in the United Kingdom, namely Taylor & Francis who is in charge of publishing, distributing, and administering subscriptions for JSBE from January 2013 onwards. This allowed JSBE to increase its capacity to publish 6 issues per year both on line and in print.

In May 2015, I had the great honor to join JSBE as its 4th Editor-in-Chief. Together with 10 associate editors, 65 editorial board members, and over 500 ad hoc reviewers from reputable institutions around the world, we have scored a number of achievements over the last two and a half years. First, our submission rate doubled every year while review time was cut down by almost a half. Most of accepted manuscripts to date went through 2 rounds of evaluation by 2-3 referees and got published within a year from the initial submission date. Second, our editors have strived to coach authors to improve manuscripts regardless of editorial decision and therefore have significantly improved the research rigor as well as the writing of manuscripts published at JSBE. Nevertheless, in some extreme cases, a manuscript may be evaluated by up to 6 reviewers due to the controversy it provoked and thus the review period may be longer than usual. Third, JSBE readership has increased steadily year after year (reaching 15,770 full text downloads from around the world in 2017, let alone the number of abstract views). Furthermore, JSBE has become truly international with submissions from 58 countries in the last two years. Its quality has been recognized internationally and thus included in a number of ranking indexes such as The ABS Academic Journal Guide (Association of Business Schools, the UK), FNEGE (Foundation Nationale pour l’Enseignement de la Gestion des Entreprises, France), VHB-JOURQUAL 3 (Verband der Hochschullehrer fur Betriebswirtschaft, Germany), ABDC Master Journal List (Australian Business Deans Council, Australia), Excellence in Research for Australia (Australia Research Council, Australia). We are positive that JSBE will soon be included in more important indexes.

Our goal is to be a relevant source for contemporary thought concerning entrepreneurship, venture start-ups, and small business management anywhere in the world. As such, we are rolling out several strategies to make JSBE a platform for stimulating discussions and grow JSBE’s authorship and readership via dedicated researchers’ networks and search engine optimization. Authors of accepted manuscripts have the option to make their papers available through open access and publish their full papers in both English and French (rather than just the bilingual abstracts). Besides the discussions led by our editors in their areas of expertise (below), we invite guest editors to manage special issues on emerging topics. We also organize research workshops and caucuses at major conferences in entrepreneurship and small business management as well as universities to provide support to authors who wish to submit their work to JSBE.

If you are interested in joining our efforts to advance research in small business and entrepreneurship in the capacity of guest editors, editorial board members, or research workshop organizers, please do not hesitate to contact us. We also welcome your suggestions on how to improve JSBE performance (in terms of scientific research quality, authorship, and readership) and appreciate your contributions.

On behalf of the journal, I thank all authors and reviewers for their hard work, dedication and commitment to advance our science and CCSBE/CCPME and Taylor & Francis whose work in silence has been an important determinant of our smooth operation.  Last but not least, we are grateful for readers who have used and diffused research results published at JSBE and given us strong support over the years.

Current editors’ expertise

  • Mai Thai, HEC Montréal, Canada (thai@hec.ca): New venture creation, social business, and new trends in entrepreneurship
  • Ikpe (Justice) Akpan, Kent State University, USA (iakpan@kent.edu): Information systems, general computing, operations/operational research and decision sciences
  • Marco Cucculelli, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Italy (cucculelli@staff.univpm.it): Family business, SME performance, and entrepreneurs’ attributes and behaviors
  • Vishal K. Gupta, Binghamton University, USA (vgupta@binghamton.edu): Entrepreneurial orientation and performance, institutional environment, and gender issues
  • Kalinga Jagoda, Mount Royal University, Canada (kjagoda@uoguelph.ca): Innovation, technology transfer, financial and accounting issues
  • Oliver Mallett, Durham University Business School, UK (mallett@newcastle.ac.uk): Entrepreneurship education, mentoring, and human resources
  • Nguyen Pham, Ernst & Young LLP, Canada (pham@ca.ey.com): Operation research, business modelling, and decision analytics
  • Syed Abidur Rahman, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia (abidur@uum.edu.my): Sustainable development, entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramid, and developing countries
  • Amon Simba, Nottingham University Business School, UK (simba@ntu.ac.uk): Microentrepreneurship, economic development in low-income countries, and small businesses
  • Etienne St-Jean, Université du Québec a Trois-Rivieres, Canada (St-Jean@uqtr.ca): Entrepreneurial career, gender issues, mentoring, and SME management
  • Ekaterina Turkina, HEC Montréal, Canada (turkina@hec.ca): Network, social capital, creativity, and transition economies

 

References

Kao, R. W. Y. 1983. Communique. Journal of Small Business – Canada, 1(1): 43-52.

Kao, R. W. Y. 1985. Editorial: Small Business and Entrepreneurship Development, An International Perspective. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 3(1): 3-4.

Kao, R. W. Y. 1997. ON YOUR OWN. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 14(1): 2-3.

Nkongolo-Bakenda, J.-M. P. 2012. Announcement about the JSBE publishing arrangement for 2013 and beyond. Journal of Small Business & Entrepreneurship, 25(3): 2-IV,V.