Workshop 1: Entrepreneurial Learning in Organisations: Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, June 2012
The current governmental focus on growth assumes that SMEs will drive the economy forward; but how do business owners develop entrepreneurial skills to grow their companies? In larger and in third sector organisations, how do managers develop entrepreneurial approaches to innovate in changing economic times? If individuals go through a process of ‘becoming’ in developing as entrepreneurs, how does learning form part of this process? This first workshop of the Special Interest Group was held at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Manchester on Monday 25th June 2012 and brought together practitioners and entrepreneurial learning researchers to reflect on areas of current and future research. The workshop also provided practical take-aways for businesses.
The programme included special input from Professor David Rae (University of Lincoln), and Professor Ossie Jones (University of Liverpool) together with practitioner perspectives from John Leach of Winning Pitch which delivery partner in the UK Government’s Growth Accelerator programme. A discussion session involving delegates from small firms was led by Jonathan Lawson from the Centre for Enterprise.
How do entrepreneurs learn and share learning
Professor David Rae
Coping with Resource Constraints and Uncertainty: Purposeful Entrepreneurial Learning
Professor Ossie Jones
Workshop 2: Entrepreneurial Learning: Growth, Internationalisation and Policy Issues, University of Glasgow, Adam Smith Business School (April 2013)
As firms come under increasing pressure in the global market place, we need to understand more about what managers and firms need to know and learn to compete internationally. The second workshop sought to link business practice and theory by bringing together academics and business managers as well as those who support business learning. The programme included presentations from Professor Marian Jones on ‘Entrepreneurial Experience and Reasoning’ and from Dr Margaret Fletcher on “Knowledge acquisition and learning by internationalising entrepreneurial firms. Rakesh Sondhi, MD, BMC Global Services Ltd presented on ‘learning and competency development for internationalization’ prior to a Q&A business panel discussion.
Knowledge acquisition and learning by internationalising entrepreneurial firms
Dr Margaret Fletcher
Workshop 3: University of Ulster, March 2014
The third Workshop took place on 30th March 2014 and was hosted by Ulster Business School. Northern Ireland has a small business economy: over 95% of businesses are either micro, small or medium sized, (MSMEs). Having achieved a level of business success, many owners and managers of MSMEs appear reluctant to pursue further growth opportunities that might challenge that success. This workshop focused on this apparent lack of ambition to grow beyond a certain level of business activity and considered how business owners might think again about those ambitions. Speakers during the day included business practitioners, who have faced and resolved the decision to grow their business ventures, and faculty from the Ulster Business School active in supporting and researching into the activities of SME owner managers.
Professor Pauric McGowan, Ulster Business School discussed ‘challenges facing SME business owners to growing their ventures in a peripheral regional economy. Professor Mark Durkin, Ulster Business School presented ‘opportunities for SME Business Development; the scope of social media’. Business practitioner speakers included Bryan Keating, Moira Burke, MD. Burke Business Solutions and Associates and Founder of Bio-Kinetic Europe and Niall McKeown, MD Ionology. The workshop included a business panel Q&A session and two sets of discussion groups.
Workshop 4: Succeeding in China: Knowledge and Networks, University of Edinburgh Business School, June 2016
The fourth Workshop was an International Enterprise Forum, bringing together key stakeholders from academia, business and policy. To succeed in markets internationally, managers and businesses need knowledge about operating in new countries and markets, developing products and services, and building international firms. For all these, accessing the right people and networks at home and abroad is fundamental. This event shared knowledge and experience of how to build this knowledge and these networks.
The event was chaired by Professor Simon Harris (University of Edinburgh Business School) and Dr Margaret Fletcher (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow). Tamara McNeil (Manchester Metropolitan University) co-hosted the workshop. It commenced with a discussion with Ivor Tiefenbrun, founder and Chairman of Linn Products, a business with worldwide success and with recent growth in China; and Giles Blackburne, who at the China-Britain Business Council has helped numerous businesses to become established in China. This was followed by discussion about “Building Business in China”, working groups addressed:
• What do you need to know to do business in China?
• What are the difficulties in finding out what you need to know, and how do you overcome them?
• Who should you make contact with, and who should you get to know if you are going to do business in China? How are these people important to you?
• How do you make contact with these people, and how do you develop good working relationships with them?
Action points for practice, policy and research were developed.
Live streaming of the interviews and discussion feedback can be found at:
Succeeding in China – Live interviews
Succeeding in China – Action points and conclusions
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