Vision and Objectives

This proposed programme can be contrasted with the traditional HEI course model in two ways in particular. Firstly, instead of providing a standard curriculum based on a set sequence of content, the logic of this programme is “just in time learning”. Entrepreneurs will mostly learn about topics as and when they need to for their own business.

Secondly, instead of the lecturer being the expert downloading content to the student, the peer mentoring dimension to the programme means that participants will mostly learn from each other. This is the element that will most of all keep senior managers engaged during the crises they face in running their businesses. Thirdly, rather than being purely local, this network will harness digital technology to introduce SMEs to members of a cross-European network and provide access to expertise and learning resources from across Europe. This in turn will help to accelerate participants’ readiness to internationalise. Much of the skills development through the network will also be focused on using digital technology to best effect for growing business.

Finally, by developing a model of academic award based on learning acquired in the work place, this model represents an innovative way for HEIs to engage effectively with SMEs, and if successful can open up a much wider range of possibilities.