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Face-to-face or distance training? Two different approaches to motivate SMEs to learn – an update

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In the past, too many government-sponsored initiatives have presented learning resources that have been wasted because the target small business audience has failed to make use of them. This paper explores the issue of offering learning materials to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a manner that recognizes their working environment, mode of operation and preferred learning methods. It then outlines methods currently being tested in the UK and Ireland, and indicates preliminary findings. The two methodologies are different in that the UK (LSSB - Learning Support for Small Businesses) programme is aimed at distance learning in primarily small businesses, whilst the Irish (University of Limerick and Limerick City Enterprise Board) programme is aimed at face-to-face learning primarily in micro-enterprises. Preliminary findings are presented.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2001

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  • Industry and Higher Education, published six times a year, is dedicated to all aspects of the relationship and interaction between higher education institutions and business and industry. With a strong emphasis on practical experience, this peer-reviewed journal covers strategic, organizational, economic, political, legal, and social issues relating to the developments in education-industry collaboration. Topics such as knowledge transfer, regional development and entrepreneurship education are key concerns. For more details, see

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