Innovation Toolkit for Small Businesses
Had an inkling of an idea to develop your small business but not quite sure what the next step is?
In this practical workshop, we’ll introduce you to the innovation journey – a process to turn your idea into reality.
We’ll be sharing some of the tools we use on our small business support programmes at the Centre for Enterprise, based at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School.
What is an innovation? It’s that idea you’d like to try…
An ‘innovation’ might mean an invention never seen before. To us at the Centre for Enterprise, though, it’s something new to your small business.
It’s about changing the way you do things in your business to develop your company.
That could be a never-before-seen product. Yet, it could simply be a service or a process that exists but that you don’t use within your business model, say, creating a company website so you can take more orders.
Why is an innovation toolkit helpful to small businesses?
We know that new sources of income need new practical processes. New business models need new management methods. And changing the way your company operates could mean a major restructure.
Failing to think about these factors at the start of your journey can lead to difficulties further down the line.
From our work with small businesses, one of the main barriers to innovation tends to be a failure to grasp the phased structure of:
- Scoping the project
- Reading the market for opportunity
- Ideating to solve problems
- Prototyping and market testing
- Launching to a receptive market
- Managing the project effectively through each of these stages
Exploring what your business could look like, sharing experiences with fellow business owners, and learning how others have navigated their journey can help you on your own path to innovation.
About the Speakers:
Claire Pattison is an Enterprise Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, where she works across a series of programmes to support leadership, innovation, business growth, and entrepreneurship.
Claire has extensive teaching and learning experience, programme design and development, business support, project management and delivery, and higher education experience. She is currently undertaking a PhD in gender and entrepreneurial identity.
Dr Sean Brophy is an Enterprise Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School where he manages the Greater Manchester AI Foundry, as well as being a cross-disciplinary researcher interested in higher education, tech and economic development.
He has previously undertaken research at Oxford’s Department of Education on commercial practices of U.K. and U.S. universities.
Prior to joining Manchester Metropolitan, Sean spent a decade at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania developing learning solutions for leading firms like Google, Twitter, and KPMG.