Assessment brief including criteria mapped to learning outcomes
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 in the UK and then design and growth/development strategy for the business. You will present your findings in a report and make clear and costed recommendations. Word Count 2000
References not part of word count.
Students will need to research a small, or medium sized business in the UK. You should try to determine the following during the research:
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. Once you have done your research you will need to write your report in which you will present your findings and your recommendations for the future growth and development for the business. You are advised to adopt the following structure for the report:
Title page: Include module title, the names of the SME discussed, student ID number and the total word count (excluding bibliography)
and development strategy. Students should also highlight appropriate government support schemes that may be available to the business.
Students are also expected to consistently support their work with reference to appropriate sources and course materials (cited in accordance with the Harvard referencing convention).
Introduction: Provides appropriate background information about the business, identifies some of the key challenges currently being faced and develops clearly defined terms of reference for the report 15% LO1
Findings: Detailed presentation of findings which are clearly aligned with the terms of reference set out in the introduction. There is a clear understanding shown of the current challenges facing the business. A comprehensive analysis of the current external environment and how this relates to the business covering all the areas of the brief. Appropriate government support measures are identified. 35% LO2, LO3, LO4
Conclusions: A concise summary of the main findings and a detailed evaluation of the implication for the business. There is a clear sense that the report has achieved the terms of reference as set out in the introduction. 10% LO3 Demonstrates a clear understanding of the issues faced by the business and of government support measures which are available. No new information is presented here.
Recommendations: Realistic and sensible recommendations are made stemming logically from the conclusions. The availability of government support is highlighted where appropriate as are other sources of finance. Recommendations should be costed, compelling and persuasive. 20% LO5, LO6
Structure and Clarity: 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 10% LO1-LO6
Reflective Journal: The Student has made regular (weekly) entries in their reflective journal for most of the semester of circa 200+ words per entry. These entries cover the majority of course content (not in detail, key points will suffice) and specifically address the question ‘what have I learnt this week?’ 10 Marks will be awarded for 10 entries, over the first 10 weeks of the semester, which cover the appropriate content and are roughly 200+ words in length. 10% LO1-LO6
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