May 15, 2014, by Kelly Cookson
What do SMEs expect from Business Schools?
In the April 2014 Business Barometer survey, our panel of UK small business owners and business advisers were asked about their awareness of and engagement with their local Business School.
The responses from small business owners were as follows:
|Business Schools are being encouraged to be more closely engaged with the local business community. To what extent do you regard your local Business School as a source of information and advice?|
|Very great extent||0|
|Very little extent||62.9%|
When asked “What would you expect to be on offer for you from your local Business School?” most panellists said they had no idea what to expect. Of those who did have an idea, they expected training and courses to be on offer. Many suspected these would be around the theory of business and said they thought practical courses and mentoring would be useful to SMEs than theory alone.
Panellist Dr Martin Jones MBE of Hartley Jones Innovation Ltd, said this of his local Business School: “I have good business contacts within Judge Business School University of Cambridge. Their Entrepreneur in Residence is especially helpful. I also have good contact with University of Cambridge Institute for Manufacturing.”
Another panellist commented: “The key issue for me with Business Schools is combining their obvious academic skills with the commercial realities of life as a small business which most fail to comprehend.”
UK business advisers were asked about their expectations and experience of their local Business School:
|Business Schools are being encouraged to be more closely engaged with the local business community. To what extent do you regard your local Business School as a source of information and advice for SMEs?|
|Very great extent||0|
|Very little extent||37.9%|
When the business adviser panellists were asked what they would expect to be on offer for SMEs from their local Business School, the majority said they expected to see courses on offer but many pointed out that without the hands on experience, these courses wouldn’t be so valuable to SMEs. The advisers also said they expect to see Business Schools running events and seminars for SMEs to attend.
One panellist suggested Business Schools need to: “offer a range of events and activities run by academics with business experience so they can bridge the gap between academic knowledge and practical need.”
A panellist with a positive experience said: “I have attended some great events with inspirational speakers from a variety of backgrounds and also participated as a panellist in an innovation grant scheme that was exceptionally well run.”
The UK Business Barometer and UK Business Adviser Barometer surveys are ran by the Haydn Green Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The results of the surveys are instantly processed and posted on their respective websites: www.ukbb.ac and www.ukbab.ac
Businesses and advisers wishing to contribute as panellists on the project can register via the websites.
The UK Business Barometer has a group on LinkedIn and can be followed on Twitter @UKBB_UoN
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