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Considering the challenges faced by SMEs, this mini conference will raise awareness of avenues to building effective governance systems in SMEs as a way to gain competitive advantages.

SMEs in the Black Country are challenged by fierce global competition. Developing new technologies, investments, access to skilled labour etc. have been paths that made British industry flourish historically. However, these are all challenging tasks today and we need new ways of effective and informed governance systems to manage this challenging era of SMEs.

The session will deliver state of the art research and insights from knowledgeable practitioner to the delegates. Effective governance is thus the focus for the seminar and will be delineated by scholarly definitions as well as practitioners’ insights.

The conference will benefit the local SME community by raising the awareness of avenues to building effective governance systems in SMEs as a way to gain competitive advantages. While the delegates will be informed of the current practices in British SMEs, we will also discuss future avenues and challenges for SMEs in this regard. By joining IoD the conference combines a practitioner view with state of the art research on corporate governance which furnishes delegates with better understanding of roles and structure of governance systems and practical tips about how to achieve effective governance in their firms.

This mini conference is arranged in partnership with IoD West Midlands and Project GoSMEs at the Business School, University of Wolverhampton. The conference includes sessions with presentation of overall result from a recent survey about the governance of SMEs in the UK, Sweden and Denmark. This has been enabled through project GoSMEs, a research project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 748905, at the University of Wolverhampton.

Session outline:

• Sharing a recent survey on governance of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK and Europe.

• The challenges of SMEs regarding effective governance.

• Panel discussion with practitioner and academics on governance in SMEs as competitive advantages.

Speakers:

Silke Machold, Dean of Research and Professor of Corporate Governance at the University of Wolverhampton

Daniel Yar Hamidi, Research Fellow at the University of Wolverhampton and a representative from the IoD