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You will be required to conduct a critical evaluation of: 1) The issues facing small business owners in the pursuit of business growth

 

 

 

Assignment Brief

 

Module Title:

Managing and Leading SMEs

Module Code:

BBS_6_MLS

Assignment No/Title:

Individual Coursework report

Assessment Weighting:

50%

Submission Date:

 

Feedback Target Date:

 

Module Co-ordinator/

Tutor:

 

Word count

 

Submission Instructions:

This assignment is to be submitted electronically

 1.  This assignment must be submitted electronically by 11:59 pm on the submission date

  1. To submit electronically you must upload your work to the e-submission area within the respective module on Moodle.
  2. Multiple drafts can be submitted up to the submission date.
  3. Please remember you must leave at least 24 hours between submissions if you make changes to your work. Each submission will overwrite the previous one until the due date and time has passed.
  4. You are reminded of the University’s regulations on cheating and plagiarism. In submitting your assignment, you are acknowledging that you have read and understood these regulations.
  5. You are reminded that it is your responsibility to keep an electronic copy of your assignment for future reference.
  6. Your citation needs to follow the Harvard style referencing.

The Assignment Tasks

Individual Coursework Report

The assessment consists of a formative and a summative element.

 1. Formative Assessment

  • 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 to consider how government policy might be designed to support SMEs to grow. 

 2. Summative Assessment

Topic: Achieving growth in British SMEs

  • This task is an individual piece of work to be written in the style of an academic report.
  • Support for SMEs, particularly those with growth ambitions is a key priority for government. This assignment is designed to give students the opportunity to consider some of the issues which face small business owners who wish to grow their business and to further consider how government policy might be designed to support SMEs to grow. 
  • You will be required to conduct a critical evaluation of:

1)  The issues facing small business owners in the pursuit of business growth

Some of the issues you may consider are:

  • Access to finance and appropriate government support measures
  • Access to international markets
  • Availability of skilled labour
  • Management skills
  • Acquisition and implementation of technology
  • Marketing strategies using social media

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

  • Then you should provide a set of recommendations as to how government policy might be informed to support SMEs to achieve their growth objectives.
  • The end result should be a clear, reasoned argument for recommendations as to how government policy can best support SME owners to achieve growth.
  • Students are encouraged to focus their reading on academic journals and to a lesser extent key texts in the area. The use of internet sources should be minimal, and Students are also expected to consistently support their work with reference to appropriate sources.
  • Your research should draw on secondary data collection and be thoroughly supported by and grounded in the academic literature on SMEs.
  • References and Bibliography: you should be discerning about your sources of information and ensure that all references conform to the Harvard convention.

Mark Distribution:

1-    Introduction

10 %

2-    Findings

25%

3-    Discussion

25%

4-    Conclusion

10%

5-    Recommendation

20%

6-    Reference and Structure

10%

3.  Assessment Checklist

The Assessment checklist is designed to monitor your weekly progression during seminar classes in order to help you complete the summative assessment task successfully.

Student Assessment Checklist

Mark

Comment

Weekly progression

Introduction

This should include:

  • Background on the SME sector/industry
  • Aim of the report and objective(s)
  • Brief account of the research process (Secondary Data collection process)

10%

 

 

Findings

This should include:

  • The issues facing small business owners in the pursuit of business growth
  •  Any government support measures that may be available to help the business overcome the challenges faced.

25%

 

 

Discussion

This should include:

  • Critical evaluation and discussion of the contemporary issues facing small business owners in the pursuit of business growth in the light of existing Literature review in SME context
  • Suggested solutions to help the business overcome the challenges faced

25%

 

 

Conclusions

  • A concise summary of the main findings and critical evaluation of the issues discussed in the literature.
  • There is a clear sense that the report has achieved the aim and objective(s) as set out in the introduction.
  • Demonstrates a clear understanding of the issues faced by the business and of government support measures which are available.
  • No new information should be presented here.

10%

 

 

Recommendations

  • Provide a set of recommendations as to how government policy might be informed to support SMEs to achieve their growth objectives
  • Realistic and sensible recommendations are made stemming logically from the conclusions
  • Work should be supported with reference to appropriate sources.

20%

 

 

Reference and Structure

  • Adheres to a recognised report format and remains within the specified word count
  • Spelling and grammar is accurate
  • Citations and references adhere to the Harvard convention
  • Integration of theory and practice consistently throughout the report
  • Work is logically structured and coherent throughout

Plagiarism, Referencing & Turnitin

All materials about plagiarism, referencing and Turnitin can be found on the   link below:

https://libguides.lsbu.ac.uk/marketing/referencing

10%

 

 


  • Sources may include:
  • Anonymous (2012) Boosting the SME sector. Enterprise, 18(4), p.21.
  • Agrebi, M. (2009) Financing SMEs. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. the OECD Observer, (275), p.22.
  • P (2011) Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 3rd ed. London: Palgrave.
  • Bridge, S., O’Neil, K. & Martin, F. (2008) Understanding Enterprise: entrepreneurship and Small Business, 3rd ed. London, Palgrave
  • Carter, S. and Jones-Evans, D. (2000) Enterprise and Small Business, Prentice Hall  (E-Book on http://lrs.uwl.ac.uk see dawsonera).
  • Cassia, L. & Minola, T. (2012) Hyper-growth of SMEs. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 18(2), p.179-197.
  • Charbonneau, J. & Menon, H.  (2013) A Strategic Approach to SME Export Growth. International Trade Forum, (1), p.32.
  • Foreman-Peck, J. (2012) Effectiveness and efficiency of SME innovation policy. Small Business Economics.
  • Rabetino, R. & Federico, J. (2012) Comparing young SMEs` growth determinants across regions. Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, 19(4), p.575-588. Burns
  • Stokes, D. & Wilson, N. (2010) Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship.6th ed. Andover: Cengage Learning.
  • Stokes, D., Wilson, N. & Mador, M. (2010) Entrepreneurship. Singapore: Cengage Learning.
  • Storey, D. J. & Greene, F. J. (2010) Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Harlow: Pearson Education.

 

 

 

Assessment Criteria:

Each task is being marked according to the following rubric:

 

 

Marking Scheme

Application of course concepts, and evidence of background reading and research (including literature review).

Discussion and analysis of key issues in the case, calculation and solutions

Coherent argument, logical structure, overall presentation of the report, and referencing

%

40

50

10

Excellent

A

 

 

 

Extensive knowledge and understanding of small business challenges and issues.  Government support   presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Very Good literature review in connection with references to textbook and website material.

 

 

 

Demonstrates a very good level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Exceptional research and excellent information collected and analysed in full

 

Well-structured arguments with good design of the sections with well structure diagrams and flow of the report. Very good  range of background reading with very good referencing consistently accurate to a recognised standard.

Good

B

Good knowledge and understanding of small business challenges and issues.  Government support presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Good literature review in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates a good level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Good l research and good amount information collected and analysed in full

Well-structured arguments and design with reasonable flow of the report.

Good range of background reading with good referencing consistently accurate to a recognised standard.

Fair

C

Fair understanding of small business challenges and issues.  Government support presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Fair literature review presented in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates a fair level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Fair research and fair amount information collected and analysed in full

Fair structure, design and reference.

Weak

D

Some understanding of small business challenges and issues. Government support presented with the exploration and critique of information/ideas from a comprehensive range of sources. Fair literature review presented in connection with references to textbook and website material.

Demonstrates some level of argument with critical judgement in the analysis, evaluation, synthesis and findings evaluated critically, rigorously, and fully discussed in context with research. Some evidence of research and some information collected and analysed in full

Poor structure and design with a reasonable flow of ideas

Poor

E or below

Barely any investigation into the background

No reasoning and no ideas of their own

Lack of all the above

 

         

 


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