The UOB-SMU Asian Enterprise Institute is a recommitment in the partnership between UOB, SMU and other local enterprises. It succeeds its predecessor, the UOB-SMU Entrepreneurship Alliance Centre which was launched on 20th September 2005. The Institute is the first Centre at SMU to be relaunched as an Institute.
While the Institute continues to build its foundation in its facilitation of exchange of knowledge and resources to support the growth and development of local enterprises and students of the University, it is also driving other initiatives in knowledge creation. All programmes and platforms developed are a reflection of the key thrusts of the Institute, namely education, outreach and research.
Education and Outreach
SME Consulting Programme is the Institute’s principal initiative. It is a programme where SMU students embark on business consultancy projects (no correlations to any academic requirements) initiated by local enterprises. Interested enterprises can engage the student consultants in various areas such as brand audit, customer satisfaction, market research, business planning, etc.
Our student consultants, under the guidance of an experienced project advisor, usually a subject matter expert or an industry practitioner, will devote a period of 10-12 weeks to work on the approved project.
SME Development Series is an avenue where the Institute invites speakers to share on topics that address the needs as well as enhance the knowledge of the SMEs. The contents of this monthly event are generally geared towards sharing today’s latest knowhow and developments in the speaker’s area of expertise.
The Institute’s other outreach and knowledge creation effort is the SME Learning Portal. Our aspiration for the SME Learning Portal is to provide a platform for our SMEs to understand themselves better, know about what other SMEs have done through their sharing as well as to gain knowledge about business and management. As such, the SME Learning Portal has two main parts – a knowledge repository of contents on business and management, and an interactive set of toolkits.
To further drive the knowledge creation initiative, the Institute engages in applied research. We will focus on practical research that would be helpful to our SMEs. The key areas of research would include HR, operations, marketing, branding and management.
The first of such collaboration is a joint effort by the Institute, Hay Group Singapore and SPRING Singapore to launch the “5-year Longitudinal Study on the Progress SMEs made in Talent Development”. This research piece aims to track the effectiveness of two major programmes launched by SPRING Singapore: The Management Associate Partnership (MAP), and the Enterprise Internship Programme (EIP). The tracking will include the evaluation of existing management practices, successes, failures and challenges of participating SMEs, and track changes from initial enrolment and year by year thereafter, the examination of retention rates for Management Associates (MA) and the Interns; among many other items.
We are aiming to gain insights into effective talent management practices for Singapore SME sector that can be put into practice and application.