4. The Stable Growth Period (1973~1984)
With the first oil crisis in 1973, the Japanese economy turned from a high-growth period to a stable growth period. With this change, measures for SMEs also changed direction from those aiming at modernization of equipment for upgrading productivity and expansion of management scale to those for moving the industrial structure toward intellectual industrialization. Thus, the needs for “soft” management resources came to be discussed, which required technical skills, manpower, and information.
Taking these needs into consideration, the Institute for Small Business Management and Technology was established in 1980 for developing human resources. As information services for management improvement, the Information Center for Small and Medium Enterprises was opened in the Small Business Promotion Corporation, and Regional Information Centers for Small and Medium Enterprises were opened in prefectures.