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Assignment on SMEs: Evaluation and Growth Strategy Design

Formative and Summative Assessment

There is one assessment for this module. The assignment consists of a formative (draft) and a summative (final) element.  The formative task is there to help you complete the summative assessment task successfully.

The formative process is important because it will help you address the task more fully and therefore contributes to your learning and understanding of the challenges facing SMEs and help you develop your business development & planning skills in relation to SMEs.

You will be required to undertake a detailed evaluation of an existing SME and then design and growth/development strategy for the business.

You will present your findings in a report and make clear and costed recommendations.

Students will need to research a small, or medium sized business.You should try to determine the following during the research:
The nature of the entrepreneur behind the venture.

The SME start-up processes.

The business concept and any sources of competitive advantage.

The current level of demand and the competitive environment.

The growth and development of the business to date.

The challenges of managing and running the business.

The SMEs current growth and development strategy.

Any government support measures that may be available to help the business overcome the challenges faced.

You are required to complete a ‘reflective journal’ as part of your assignment; it will account for 10% of the marks.

Entries should be made weekly based upon the course content covered and should be relatively short in nature; around 200 words per week will suffice although students are free to write freely in any style that works for them.

The entries need only cover the key points from each week and not be detailed in natureThe entries are private, accessible to you, your personal tutor and the instructors on the course.

They will become a useful starting point for your assignment. These four questions will help to act as a catalyst for your journal but you may record and write anything that feels right for you:

1.What thoughts were prompted in your mind with this weeks’ material?

2.What did you find interesting in this weeks’ material?

3.What did you learn this week?

4.How might this learning help you with your assignment?

Your reflective journal will be held online in Blackboard under the ‘MSME reflective journal’ tab and the entries you make each week will be recorded and dated for you to review at any time. Entries are required each week for the first 10 weeks of the Semester.

You should make use of all available sources and current thinking on SMEs should be central to your analysis and illustrated with reference to current articles from relevant journals and from broadsheet newspapers (e.g. FT).

Use should be made of the library’s electronic databases such as Summon, Emerald, etc.You should apply theoretical concepts and models relating to the entrepreneurial process and to the various stages of growth and development of the business.

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