Breaking down barriers to SME innovation

Posted on 10 Nov 2018 and read 545 times
Breaking down barriers to SME innovationThe University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Sheffield University Management School (SUMS) are looking for companies to engage with them in a project designed to break down the barriers to innovation faced by smaller businesses.

A tool-kit designed specifically to help small- and medium-size manufacturing firms tackle business challenges will be available free-of-charge to firms that take part in the project looking at how productivity in SMEs is linked to effective leadership and talent management.

Sectors like manufacturing are reliant on talented employees; the AMRC and SUMS believe that good practices in the recruitment, development and management of people can help to retain talent and therefore improve business

Shirley Harrison, company engagement manager at the AMRC (, said: “We know small businesses are heavily reliant on a few highly skilled people and are always at risk of losing those people to larger companies.

"We are acutely aware that this is a particular issue in the Sheffield City Region, because there are so many big-name employers, so how SMEs recruit, develop and retain staff is more important now than ever.

"This project will work with small manufacturing businesses to understand how they manage people issues now and bring together good practice from the group.”

Robert Wapshott, senior lecturer in Entre-preneurship at SUMS, said: “There is a tendency to adopt a model by which SMEs’ practices are assessed against those from a model large firm and any differences are considered as shortcomings in the SMEs, rather than being right for a different type of business.

"That’s why we want to understand these businesses on their own terms.” Companies interested in taking part should contact Shirley Harrison by e-mail: .

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