ISBE – A Quality Home for Small Business and Entrepreneurial Dialogue

During March 2018, the Board of Trustees met over a period of two days to discuss the strategy of ISBE.  During this strategic break-away session all Board Members agreed that the purpose, values and vision of ISBE is still valid. To refresh your minds ISBE’s purpose is “to enable excellence in small business and entrepreneurship across research, policy, practice and learning communities”. Our values that forms the foundation is based on CLEAR namely Community, Looking forward, Ethical, Authoritative and Relevant. Within that framework our vision is “to connect our membership and their communities to pursue excellence in small business and entrepreneurship”. Therefore, we can summarise our purpose, values and vision as creating a support system that will allow small businesses and entrepreneurship to make dynamic contributions to the future socio-economic development of countries.

We acknowledge that the environment is characterised by various challenges such as a fast rate of changes, pressure on institutions to be innovative, and increased competition. A measurement of success for today might be irrelevant tomorrow. Within this context and taking all the activities that ISBE offers to its members I came to the conclusion that ISBE is indeed a quality home for Small Business and Entrepreneurship dialogue – where we can debate and find authoritative and ethical solutions for the future. At the strategic break-away session we have also re-affirmed that the strategic outcomes that we want to achieve by 2020 are to build and effectively communicate a custom set of packages to our primary and secondary customer segments that retain existing and attract new members; to maintain a dynamic and innovative governance system that reflects our position as a leading network supporting small business and entrepreneurship; to organise a distinctive and leading edge conference that fosters world class dialogue supporting small businesses and entrepreneurship; to maintain an active, sustainable and strategically integrated programme of CoIs/SIGs.

Within this ISBE home we should debate and find solutions for small businesses and entrepreneurship. Within an ever changing environment topics can come and go. However, this diversity in topics assists us in building a stronger basis of support. That does not mean that we are not focused. To the contrary. At this year’s conference we are commencing with a declaration exercise – to provide an overview of what we want to achieve during the conference and how that can guide future activities. This declaration will be revisited at the 2019 conference hence building a dedicated focus over time within an environment of diversity.

The above strategy and actions are not the collective brainchild of the Board Members alone. We have invited input to the strategy from members which helped us to improve the strategy of ISBE.  Therefore, a big word of thanks to all members for their continued support maintaining this quality home for dialogue.

Prof Gideon Maas
President ISBE
May 2018


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