'Supporting SME Businesses to Grow' Forum

26 June 2014

'Supporting SME Businesses to Grow' Forum

Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship collaborates with the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub to stage a successful SME forum at Henley Business School.

Supported and sponsored by the Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub, the Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship staged the ‘Supporting SME Businesses to Grow’ Forum at Henley Business School on Tuesday 24 June 2014.

Attended by over 50 SMEs, the forum was opened by the Dean, Prof John Board, who in welcoming the delegates highlighted the fact that Henley Business School was an SME and that it was part of the Thames Valley’s SME community. Citing Andrew Witty’s 2013 Review on Universities and Growth the Dean pointed out that university business schools can have a transformative effect on SMEs through practical advice and help with growing their businesses.

The forum combined a keynote speech from Richard Greenhalgh, Chairman of NCUB and a panel of three SMEs and the Director of Research & Enterprise at the UoR. There was much debate around how to engage SMEs in universities, including ideas of building a UoR SME community and a programme to facilitate a more targeted recruitment of graduates by SMEs.

There was a common theme that emerged from the SME presentations that collaboration with the University had boosted business and that such collaboration should be part of the SME portfolio of key activities and define the SME business model. Knowledge Transfer Partnerships were cited as a particularly successful relationship for the UoR and the presenting SMEs.

The forum was treated to a live on-line poll, which helped identify the challenges faced by SMEs and also the interests SME have in areas in which they would like to collaborate with the UoR and its network of partners.   

Alistair Colam, Director at Fish Innovation said:
'The forum helped me to understand the role and offerings of Universities in helping SME's like mine, as well as highlighting their appetite to foster these relationships and develop working partnerships. As a result I will certainly be actively seeking ways in which FISH Innovation can benefit from their support.'

The forum is the first in a series of events that will take place over the next 12 months that will target the topics identified by the poll.

The UoR is committed to work with the SME community in the Thames Valley Region for mutual benefit.     

Contact and Notes:

Jurek Sikorski

Business Development Lead & Executive in Residence

Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship

Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship

Henley Centre for Entrepreneurship is part of Henley Business School at the University of Reading which provides a hub for teaching and research in the subject, inspiring students from across the University to embrace, develop and apply their entrepreneurial abilities.

E: jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk

T: 0118 378 8188

Susan Elliott


Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub

Thames Valley Berkshire Business Growth Hub The Growth Hub offers a new way of working to Berkshire's high growth businesses. Backed by Government it provides a single gateway for ambitious businesses who are seeking the information, guidance, support, expertise, finance, knowledge and experience they need to scale up and grow, boost performance and find new ways of working.

E: info@berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk

W: www.berkshirebusinesshub.co.uk

T: 0118 935 7115

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Contact Us

If you have any questions, please contact Jurek Sikorski by email at jurek.sikorski@henley.ac.uk or by phone on +44 (0)118 378 8188.