Category Archives: Small business competitiveness

A good walk enriched | Mentoring on the Move

On a recent trip to Beijing I was privileged to be invited to mentor a small – and diverse – group of women with a collective desire to gain new perspectives on their business activities. I’m a huge advocate of mentoring as key to personal and professional development, and as a catalyst for innovation and

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Boundary spanning – savvy networking for the 21st Century

Today, through technology, it has never been easier to connect with people we don’t know, and we do it almost without thinking, daily, even hourly, in a manner that couldn’t have been conceived only a few years ago. But behind this seemingly unconscious act lies some fundamental principles that, if we were to consider them in a more deliberate way, could be the key to our personal and professional fulfilment and success.

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Enterprise has no boundaries in 2017

It’s interesting. I’ve worked in and around the enterprise agenda for many years, working in so many different contexts – education, politics, institutions, businesses – and although I have experienced entrepreneurship in every situation, it continues to frustrate me that ‘being enterprising’ is so frequently undervalued in every context other than business. In fact, in

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SME Banking

Sharing international insights into SME banking research

ICE is passionate about sharing learning with the banking sector in the UK and internationally which has been drawn from extensive research commissioned by FSD Kenya. Research has sought to understand more fully the nature and needs of dynamic growth companies, as well as their barriers to accessing finance to enable growth. As featured author this Summer on FSD Kenya’s website, I am therefore seizing my opportunity to do so!

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relationship banking

Service sector must unearth B2C values to benefit SMEs (and themselves)

I have often found that service sector institutions can be much too fixated on supporting an ‘enterprise’, rather than the person running it, and moreover that even their focus on the business entity can be limited to the area most obviously related to their service, rather than encompassing the needs of the business overall. This linear approach to delivering business support services demonstrates, in my mind, a lack of empathy with the real dynamics of any small or medium enterprise, and represents a huge lost opportunity for both parties – and the macro-economy.

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SME banking

Kenya’s quest to improve understanding of SME finance

I was privileged to participate in an ‘SME Day’ which brought together leading economists and entrepreneurs in Nairobi in December 2015, on a quest to improve understanding of SME finance. Whilst SME loans represent almost a quarter of total loans in Kenya, innovation in the sector has been slow, a status quo that is difficult to change due to a lack of data across the board.

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insights into enterprise and entrepreneurship

Add your perspective to the debate on enterprise and entrepreneurship

The Durham Symposium on Small Business & Enterprise Development took place in September of last year, yielding a diverse and abundant assemblage of perspectives on enterprise and entrepreneurship. A detailed narrative of the discussions that took place at the Symposium is now being prepared for publication. So in advance of this I am really eager to ensure that as many new perspectives are added to the debate, from the entrepreneurs, policy makers, enterprise educators and business support professionals who were not able to attend the Symposium itself but that have a viewpoint that they may wish to share. For your interest, and in the hope of stimulating further discussion, I have embedded below four videos taken at the Durham Symposium itself.

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‘Family Strategy’ is key to family business support

Setting up, growing and sustaining any business is a challenge.  For family businesses, however, there is another layer of complexity – the family.  Recognising and addressing the need for a family strategy to reinforce and enable the business strategy is key to sustainable family business.   Although collectively referenced as ‘family businesses’, the family connection

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Insights into Family Business

In association with Yolanda Gibb, Dinah Bennett has developed a series of blogs specifically geared to providing insights into family enterprise and entrepreneurship. This first post provides some context for the series, explaining why supporting family business is so vital. The scale and contribution of Family Business Family Business represents a huge opportunity which is

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Social Enterprise. The clue is in the name.

Social Enterprise. The clue is in the name. Much has been written about the potential of social enterprise, but I share the concerns of many that, whilst social enterprise continues to be manoeuvred as a political plaything, the treasury loses sight of the real treasure that these ventures could yield. As a global economy fighting

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