Developing an Innovators Mindset for SMEs

Host: University of Nottingham

Location: Online

Cost: Free


Despite being prime to innovate, many SMEs choose not to. SME business owners site lack of people resource, financial challenges, not sure how to and fear of change. Additionally many SME business leaders claim innovation is for big companies and not for them. Nothing could be further from the truth and SMEs are recognising the importance of innovation for long term business success. However, there appears to be a gap between the awareness of the need to invest in innovation and the number of SMEs that are actually doing it.

This gap is especially disappointing for supporters of SMEs because your SME business should naturally have the component parts for innovation success. It has entrepreneurialism, creativity, dedicated staff and passion. Add to this innovation behaviours to encourage improvement of your products, services and/or internal operations and you will be way in front of competitors large or small.

Do you want to learn to innovate? Register for free and enrol on the Developing an Innovators Mindset for SMEs programme and we will take away the mystique of innovation. The workshops designed around SMEs challenging schedule are broken into bite size chunks to aid rapid learning with the support of an innovation expert to help you develop your very own company innovation plan irrespective of if your company is totally new to innovation or you already have the innovation bug.

The programme is split into 4 x 3 hour online workshops taking place every two weeks, on a Thursday morning from 8am to 11am during September and October 2021. Prior to the workshops, each business will have a 1 hour virtual onboarding session with one of the consultants/coaches running this programme.

Workshop 1 – Thursday 9th September 8am-11am – The Business Innovators Mindset for 2025

Workshop 2 – Thursday 23rd September 8am-11am – Innovation, the Why & How

Workshop 3 – Thursday 7th October 8am-11am – How Developing an Innovators Mindset for SMEs Interlinks for Business Growth

Workshop 4 – Thursday 21st October 8am-11am – Action Planning for Effective Innovation Mindset for SMEs

After all of the workshops each business will receive a final 2 hour of support with their action plan, sign posting and referrals.

In summary the workshops will cover:

Challenge popular cultural notions of innovation to understand the types of innovation and the simple principles of innovation

Explore company and structure design with cultural elements of a business that allow a company to innovate

Explore models of innovation beyond popular notions of technological change and disruption

Make innovation the driver for your business growth and quickly hit the bottom line

Consider the context of your company, plan for your innovation and the future of innovation in light of what you have learnt in this programme

Expert advice specific to your company and its products/services

At the end of this workshop you and your company will be equipped with:

The ability to develop, implement and lead innovation in your organisation

Skills to recognise key drivers of innovation & culture to inspire an environment where innovation thrives

Practical frameworks and a future-focused innovation mindset to help prepare your company to handle new and unforeseen challenges

Be equipped with case studies of real innovation from the business world

Have your unique company innovation plan and the capability to execute the innovation plan

The programme will have a cohort of 10 businesses with a single representative from each business to attend each session. You can select a specific person to attend all the sessions, which would be preferable, although changing of personnel within your business attending each session is acceptable. This programme is exclusively available for SMEs with a business and/or trading address within Derbyshire or Nottinghamshire.

Process for joining the programme:

Register using the Eventbrite link on this page

One of our team will send you an Enrolment Form for you to complete and return to us

We will check the eligibility of your business from the information provided and if all the criteria (determined by the funding body) are met, you will be formally invited to join the programme.

Places for this programme will be filled on a first come first served basis depending on when your enrolment form was successfully submitted. If the programme is oversubscribed we will form a waiting list and re-run this programme in the near future.

This event is part-funded via the European Regional Development Fund, therefore we are required to evidence if you are a small to medium enterprise. There will be a form that will need to be completed in order for us to check you business is an eligible SME to attend this programme. The form is also to ensure you are a small to medium enterprise and capture any business support you have received over the last 3 years to ensure you haven’t exceeded the €200,000 State Aid limit.

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