Innovation and R&D

The ability to innovate and invest in research and development (R&D) can be the difference between a small business thriving or being left behind. Continuous innovation not only drives product and service improvements, but also unlocks new growth opportunities and fortifies a company’s competitive positioning.

However, for many small business owners, the world of innovation and R&D can seem daunting and resource-intensive – but this isn’t necessarily the case. The below resources provide actionable insights and proven strategies to help founders through this process.


  1. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries – The Lean Startup advocates for rapid prototyping, validated learning and iterative product development to efficiently create successful startups.
  2. The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail by Clayton M. Christensen – Christensen explains why most companies miss out on new waves of innovation and how businesses can avoid these pitfalls by continuing to innovate.
  3. Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter F Drucker – Superbly practical, Innovation and Entrepreneurship explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures need to know and do to succeed in today’s economy.
  4. The Innovator’s Solution, with a New Foreword: Creating and Sustaining Successful Growth by Clayton M. Christensen and Michael E. Raynor – In The Innovator’s Solution, Clayton Christensen and Michael Raynor expand on the idea of disruption, explaining how companies can and should become disruptors themselves.


  1. Claiming Research and Development (R&D) tax reliefs by – This guide by the government gives you a brief explanation of R&D and the different types of tax reliefs you may be able to claim.
  2. R&D tax credits: The ultimate guide for 2024 by SeedLegals – This guide covers how your business can qualify for R&D tax credits, how much you can claim and how to apply.


  1. Why You Should Invest in Research and Development (R&D) by Investopedia – This article lists some reasons your business should invest in research and development.
  2. The importance of innovation for small businesses by British Business Bank – If your business fails to be agile, adapt to market changes or try new things, you might miss out on valuable opportunities. But what exactly does innovation mean in practice?
  3. How can small businesses be innovative? By Enterprise Nation – This article dives into how small businesses can foster a culture of innovation and what strategies they can employ to stay ahead of the curve.
  4. R&D grants for smaller businesses by British Business Bank – This article details what R&D grants are, how they differ from tax reliefs, what projects qualify and how you can apply.


  1. UK Innovation Report 2024 by Cambridge Industrial Innovation Policy – The aim of the UK Innovation Report is to facilitate policy discussions on innovation and industrial performance – and the interplay between them.
  2. Insights report: Innovate UK’s 50 emerging technologies by UKRI – This insights report reveals exciting new technological breakthroughs that could be part of our everyday lives in 2040 and beyond.
  3. Global Innovation Index 2023 by World Intellect Property Organisation – The 2023 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) takes the pulse of global innovation trends against the background of an economic environment fraught with uncertainty.
  4. United Kingdom innovation survey 2023: report by – This survey focuses on business adoption of innovation through new and improved products and services, investments in different types of innovation, and changes in business structures, management, design, and marketing innovations.


  1. Empowering Innovation: Trends and Triumphs by EmpowerRD – This podcast highlights the UK tech scene’s growth and innovation and also offers vital information about the changing R&D tax relief scheme and its impact on businesses.
  2. How I Built This Podcast with Guy Raz by Wondery – Guy Raz interviews the world’s best-known entrepreneurs to learn how they built their iconic brands. In each episode, founders share intimate moments of doubt and failure, and insights on their eventual success.
  3. FYI – For Your Innovation by Ark Invest – The For Your Innovation Podcast offers an intellectual discussion on recent developments across disruptive innovation – driven by research, news, controversies, companies, and technological breakthroughs.
  4. Killer Innovations with Phil McKinney – Join the community of innovators, designers, creatives, entrepreneurs and visionaries who are constantly pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo.

The above resources equips small business owners with the knowledge and strategies necessary to effectively implement innovation and R&D initiatives that drive growth, competitiveness and long-term sustainability.