Should small businesses and universities develop working relationships? That’s just the question Paul Moran, senior lecturer in Strategy and Enterprise and head of The Formation Zone for entrepreneurs at GSM London, seeks to answer in his article published by Huffington Post.
A partnership between a university and a small business may not be the most obvious of pairings. For anyone who has worked in both environments, the contrasts can be quite stark.
In August a committee of MPs reported that universities and small businesses stood to gain from improved, more effective working relationships. To many working in this sector, this was not news. However the report was received as a welcome confirmation of the importance of universities adapting their services to the needs, priorities and culture of independent small to medium enterprises (SMEs).
In particular, universities are well positioned to support the productivity enhancement and leadership development of SMEs and this takes place in a number of forms: tackling local skills issues through partnerships tailored to needs of the local economy; providing a new market for trading among small and medium-sized businesses; and providing access to key assets such as space for premises, knowledge for research and development, and marketing support.
For more in depth discussion regarding the development of relations between universities and SMEs, see Paul Moran’s full article here.