How do micro enterprises want to learn?

Lesley Strachan

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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    Objectives To examine the learning needs of Micro Enterprises and to critically evaluate whether educators can deliver marketing skills to Micro Enterprises to meet their needs. Prior Work Writers suggest that the marketing behaviour of small firms appears to be related to the motivation, belief, attitude and the objectives of the owner-manager and that when small businesses are formed, they are often based on a particular skill of the founder and that there are a number of barriers to learning. Academic research appears unable to resolve a number of questions about small businesses and their use of marketing and that further research is needed. Approach Micro Enterprises are relatively easier to identify and make contact with relevant individuals compared with larger organisations. The geographic area of Hampshire, United Kingdom, has been chosen because of its accessibility, segmentation will be by type, e.g. Sole traders, Partnerships and Limited Companies. Both empirical quantitative and qualitative research paradigms will be engaged and the results compared with studies undertaken in 2005 by Simpson, Padmore and Taylor. Method(s) A qualitative naturalistic approach is being used to explore the views, behaviour and experiences within Micro Enterprises compared to the quantitative data will give a more general and scientific overview. Techniques like qualitative interviews and quantitative questionnaires will be adopted as they are considered to be more appropriate in the field of social science research and in particular for this study. Results Potential outcomes: that the external and internal influences on a Micro Enterprises do/do not impact on an individuals learning decision, that Micro Enterprises do/do not really know what marketing is and do/do not engage in learning, that firms are not well understood by educators or that they are understood but fail to deliver appropriate skill training due to other constraints and that educators need to make a paradigm shift in their methods of delivery to Micro Enterprises. Implications The findings will establish how Micro Enterprises acquire and learn the skills to market their business and evaluate the needs and wants of Micro Enterprises and how they want to engage in learning new skills versus current delivery systems which are not customer led. Finally, after a critical analysis of whether educators can deliver marketing skills to Micro Enterprises to meet the needs and wants of this sector more effectively a new model will be developed to reflect the research results. Value The core value of this paper is to put forward a new model for discussion of how these firms could have marketing skills delivered to them in a way which matches their needs and wants. The research will then lead us into a deeper understanding of Micro Enterprises and the development of alternative ways of delivering marketing skills to them. Approaches to training will have to change if educators want to engage with this sector.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationISBE 2009, 3rd-6th November 2009, Liverpool
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2009


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