Upcoming Workshops

Each workshop is designed to address one specific challenge that most SME leaders will encounter at some point. Ideal for growing businesses that have participated in programmes at the Centre for Growth, our events will introduce you to other ambitious entrepreneurs from our networks as well as new topics and experts from Aston Business School. All workshops will be held at Aston Business School. 

Title: What's the Story? Developing Strategic Decision-Making with Management Accounting for SMEs

Date: Wednesday 12 June 2019

Brief: In today’s increasingly complex business world, strategic decision making is paramount to the success and growth of any business. In this workshop, SME leaders will access the latest developments in management accounting research and practice to help enhance their decision making and help transform organizational performance. This will allow any business leader to tackle strategic decisions with the benefit of a clear and comprehensible framework. This workshops is aimed at leaders of businesses with up to around 30 employees.

Speakers: Led by Ian Cornelius and Professor Ivo De-Loo

Title: Get your Business Working Smarter: Things you can do to Boost Productivity

Date: Thursday 20 June 2019

Brief: Productivity is much discussed and little understood. This event will start by looking at what productivity is and why it matters for our regional and national economy, and then focus in on evidence of what drives productivity in SMEs. The event is aimed at small business leaders looking to grow and harness efficiencies, and will help you consider how aspects such as digital adoption, innovation and employee engagement can play a role in increasing the productivity or your business.

Speakers: Professor Jun Du and Professor Mark Hart

Title: Help your People be the Best: Entrepreneurial Team Coaching and it's Benefits

Date: Wednesday 26 June 2019

Brief: This workshop is aimed at SME leaders looking for new ways to engage their teams and maximise the effectiveness of their employees in order to remain ahead of their competitors. During this session they will be exploring what team coaching is and how you can incorporate some of the techniques within the company to improve performance, innovate or renew teams and to maintain or enhance effectiveness, productivity and/or well being.

Speakers: Dr Uwe Napiersky

Title: Be Prepared: Using Technology to Manage SME Legal Risk

Date: Thursday 27 June 2019

Brief: Running a small business is a balancing act. You're in charge of handling every aspect of the company, hiring the right people, and keeping everything on the right side of the law. In this workshop you will find out more about legal risk management and will be given the opportunity to use a dedicated SME toolkit, which will enable you to evaluate how legal risk resilient your business is and what steps you can take to improve risk remediation.

Speakers: Professor Stuart Weinstein and Jelena Schidzig

Title: Grow Customers using Big Brand Techniques: Marketing - What's Possible for the SME

Date: Wednesday 10 July 2019

Brief: Learn practical marketing insights from big firms in order to connect with your customers so that your message is clear and they understand the compelling benefits of using your products, ideas or services. Understand the real reason customer make purchases and how to simplify a brand message so people understand it.

Speakers: Dr Keith Glanfield

Title: How can Artificial Intelligence help SMEs?

Date: Thursday 18 June

Brief: The ongoing “Data Revolution” creates new opportunities for businesses, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies provide the tools to harness the growing amounts of data in order to innovate and make better-informed business decisions. In this talk we will give a general introduction to AI, reviewing key concepts and areas of applications, such as Natural Language Processing and Computer Vision. Participants will learn about the basics of statistical and rule-based methods in AI, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the business applications that exist today. At the end of the session, participants will be given an opportunity to generate and assess their own ideas on how to apply AI to Big Data problems in the business context, and to see what will and won’t work.

Speakers: Dr Victoria Uren and Dr Viktor Pekar

Aston Centre for Growth

Aston Centre for Growth offers leading growth programmes and other opportunities for SME owners looking to grow their business. Aston University has held the Small Business Charter since 2014, reflecting its expertise in SME engagement. We have experience of working with hundreds of SMEs to support their business growth, with investment ready pitching competitions, through our student focused start-up support and incubation centre and on high profile programmes such as Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses.

These workshops are not part of any of our externally funded programmes, they have been developed by the Centre for Growth to support our alumni network and other business leaders in our region.