NOTICE: Due to the COVID Pandemic, our workshop sessions may be moved online in accordance with government guidance. If this happens and you have booked to attend the in-person sessions, you will have the opportunity to attend them digitally.
The Innovation Vouchers workshops will help participant SME leaders identify, understand and assess essential strategic and cultural competences, as well as organising mechanisms needed to effect innovation in their organisation. Participants will be given the opportunity to consider their own funding strategies and how best to pursue commercial finance in the future. In short these workshops will give you initial tools from which to work directly on your business.
Each workshop is also designed so that the combination of all seven gives greater meaning and context for your business. It has to be emphasised that all the tools used as part of these workshops are business-oriented and provide a simple-to-understand language that SME leaders of any size can understand and use. Moreover, the tools used in the workshops will allow participant SME owner/managers to target specific organisational development that will drive their innovation strategies and objectives. It is advised that companies attend each workshop just once, and attend all seven workshops.
It is advised that companies attend each workshop just once.
All Innovation Workshops start at 9.30am and end at 5pm.
The workshops will be held at the CONNECT Space, Level 2 at Millennium Point, Birmingham, B4 7XG.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided in a Covid-safe manner.
These workshops are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and therefore are free to the participating companies. On completion of a minimum of 12 hours of sessions, delegates will receive a prestigious “Managing Innovation in Business” Certificate.
Businesses that attend all the workshops gain significant benefits than those that don’t. From the last phase of the Innovation Vouchers (2016-18), the average increased turnover as a result of these workshops was £11,500 p/a, with future expected benefits over 3 years topping £200,000 p/a
Event Dates / Booking
Wednesday 8th September 2021
Hosted by Dr Mark Gilman, Professor of SME Growth & Development at BCU
The first workshop will help participating companies to understand how to understand both their external and internal environments. Participating companies will explore the uncertainties in their environment and use these to develop their strategic outlook. Participants will also have the opportunity to carry out an exercise which will help them to understand how to build a strategy for their organisation. This process will help participants better understand their present and prepare more effectively for building their purpose, vision and values.
Wednesday 15th September 2021
This workshop is designed to help participant SME owner/managers build their strategic leadership capacity and enhance the cultural and structural effectiveness of their organisation for innovation. With the onset of advanced technologies, globalisation and the need to be able to respond to constant change in increasingly complex environments, the innovation process has been supported by the utilization of new information and communication technologies. However, although technical tools can support knowledge management linked to innovation, such approaches in their own right do not create competitive advantage because they are readily available to others. The creation of competitive advantage rests fundamentally in relational tools that challenge organisations, to post, share, screen, rate, adapt, blend, enhance and ultimately implement new ideas. Drawing on our experience with successful SME support programmes we have run, the workshop is designed and delivered around three pillars:
Pillar 1: Generating ideas, identifying and exploiting opportunities
Pillar 2: Formulating an appropriate strategic position and business model
Pillar 3: Setting up organisational mechanisms and culture that support innovation
It also utilises the BIG Ten characteristics of growth: characteristics that successful SMEs use to understand and build their strategic and leadership capabilities. All these tools involve organisational behaviours and mechanisms needed to identify and take advantage of sources of innovative thinking, evaluate the potential success of creative ideas, and take calculated risks by using sound judgement.
Wednesday 29th September 2021
This workshop will examine the psychology of sales and consumer behaviour. Most SMEs face the problem of how to increase their sales. They have relatively little time to think about how this effects the sales function and how sales needs to fit strategically and culturally with the vision for the business. We will investigate what is the perceived value of the product or service to those who are likely to buy it? We know that people are driven to buy if they think that they are likely to miss out if they don’t buy it in a certain period. So the question is why should I make my decision to buy now? We know that if an item is popular more people are likely to want to buy one as well. We also know that when items are scarce it creates more demand.
So in perceiving the value of products/services we know that people are not always rational about spending money. Therefore how you price and discount your products relies on knowledge of the market and customer preferences. Do you deliver on the promises that you have made to your customers? Psychology tells us about how customers make decisions and helps us consider the whole service offering and value of your product or service. The workshop will also examine the organisations value proposition allowing a link between organisational strategy and marketing strategy.
De Minimis State Aid
The support we plan to provide through the workshops will comply with the State Aid rules using the de minimis exemption (in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013, OJ L 352/1). Under this exemption a single undertaking may receive up to the limit of €200,000 of De Minimis aid from the Member State within which it does business and which provides the aid over any period of three fiscal years.
To attend the workshops, you will be asked to complete a Statement of Previous Aid received under the De Minimis exemption and arrange for a director of your business to sign it. Using this information we will assess your eligibility to receive assistance.
We expect the value of the aid under this initiative to attend the full workshop series to be £2,326.80 which at the current European conversion rate is €2,713.54. An up-to-date figure may be provided to you. You may need to declare this amount in the future. It is your responsibility to ensure your business does not exceed the de minimis threshold by attending the workshop series.
- Digital Workshops
- Digital Workshops Part 1
- Digital Workshops Part 2
- Workshop 1
- Workshop 2
- Workshop 3
Meet The Academic Team
Aston Business School
Birmingham City University
Aston Business School
Senior Teaching Fellow
Aston Business School
Associate Professor for BCU Business School
Birmingham City University