Professor Amanda Broderick is Dean of Salford Business School
As a core component of the world economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a critical role in innovation, advancement and sustainable development worldwide.
The University of Salford’s mission is to ‘transform lives, stimulate discovery and realise potential’. This mission is reflected in Salford Business School’s commitment to support economic regeneration – regionally, nationally and internationally.
Central to this commitment is the support of SMEs. This is done through expert advice, addressing skills gaps and through access to finance, network and resource opportunities.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) amongst others are upgrading their 2014 gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecast. The New Year brings cautious shoots of optimism and confidence. It also brings the recognition that an enterprise-friendly environment for SMEs as well as other businesses can create jobs, investment and exports.
Creative SMEs are critical for:
In today’s increasingly globalized world, SMEs have to unprecedentedly compete globally. This can be done through exporting, the creation of partnerships across national borders and the establishment of operations in other countries.
SMEs with greater internationalisation tend to report higher turnover growth and also demonstrate higher employment growth (Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, 2010).
SMEs are both the most dynamic and the most vulnerable constituent in the global economy. Their international engagement is still highly fragmented – only 1 in 5 UK SMEs currently export according to CBI report in 2013. The same CBI report also highlights that business are 11% more likely to survive if they export.
One of the key issues linked to growth for SMEs – nationally or internationally – is their ability to be innovative – this is the capacity to supply customers with new products, processes or services which are novel, competitive and valued.
Delivering innovation is intrinsically challenging, indeed the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS) estimates that just over a third of businesses are innovative (37% in SMEs and 42% in larger enterprises). This means that almost two thirds of business are not pursuing innovation strategies.
Some of the common barriers to innovative growth include:
Salford Business School is able to provide support and resource in overcoming the barriers to innovation. Businesses that use external advice at key stages in their development grow faster than those that do not. But, too few business are taking external advice as pointed out in the report produced by Lord Young in 2013.
Thus, Salford Business School is promoting 2014 as the Year of the Creative SME:
To see how Salford Business School can support your SME acceleration contact Dr.Kurt Allman, Associate Dean Enterprise & Engagement
“I believe that our newly established second office in Salford (set up in conjunction with the University Salford) positions umi Digital in the creative hub of not only the northwest but soon to be Europe”.
Chief Executive, Steve Lowy umidigital.co.uk
“We are very proud of our innovative collaboration with Salford Business School which has been such a positive experience for us in terms of online brand promotion.”
Orlagh Hamill, Marketing Manager www.morson.com
“Since moving to MediaCityUK, SIS has been committed to forging close links with the University of Salford”. SIS Betting www.sis.tv
In 2014, Salford Business School will be