SME Partnership MBA Program

Submitted by: Yousef Al-Tamimi (Jordan), German Jordanian University

Summary: Unique MBA program, which meets ambitions of entrepreneurs in domestic economies by solving challenges face SME, within an academic environment and legal framework. This program will be able to generate needed funds for business schools, develop local SMEs to be more competitive, and create successful business leaders. My Idea will be applicable in every country; it’s flexible to meet any business and academic environment, and targets wide range of population.

Full Description: My idea is to develop the management education into new level, by connecting it to local SME needs, and creating a long-term partnership between each student and participated SME.

“SME partnership MBA Program” is a program where the business school assigns local SME to each MBA candidate, these SME are selected based on the requirements of MBA program and candidates’ profiles, and an assigned tutor will give each Candidate customized curriculum. This program involves two contracts, Enrolment Contract between Business school and Student, and the other between SME firm and the student to agree upon confidentiality, financial and legal terms. This contract is temporally, and offers long-term employment or partnership contract for successful candidate at completion of the program. Evaluation of each student will be based on mixed results, between academic performance and results of SME, measured on quarter basis. Duration of the program will be 2 years, and each student can benefit from partner SME for financing his/her study, and work full-time job.

 For example, business school offers “SME partnership MBA Program” in Marketing, and prepares list for nominated SME, which have weakness in Marketing function. Then, FMCG experienced candidate chooses his/her best match, local agricultural products SME for example. Next, Admission approves the candidate’s application, and prepares the contracts for signature between all parties, and tutor proposes his curriculum for candidate.

World Bank says “SMEs are the Engine of Growth, and SME sector is the largest provider of employment in most countries, especially of new jobs. Due to their small size, SMEs usually lack management capacity”. These two arguments are the bases for my program success, by opening the opportunities for entrepreneurs, in each country, to develop local SMEs, and to have financial benefits and long-term relationship between both; Student and SME firm. This will be controlled by contractual setup and supervised through academic framework.

My Idea impact most of business schools worldwide, it will have global results as International organizations, Governments, educational entities, SME economies and people are involved in this program as sponsors, organizers and participants. International organizations will sponsor this program in developing countries, governments will support education sector to contribute in developing the domestic economies, SME to overcome their problems, and individual to realize their dreams and career objectives.

Each business school will have tens of candidates, who help tens of SMEs to succeed. The success of candidates in developing SMEs will bring other schools, SMEs, and entrepreneurs to the program, which can be customized for each case.

Results of this can be measured in revenues for SMEs, number of students in Business schools, and number of long-term contracts between participated SMEs and graduates.

Implementation through three phases as following:

  • Phase one: Application, SME and Candidates qualification
    • SME Qualification: Business school asks for interested SMEs to join the program, based on structured selection process that seeks SMEs from different businesses and suffer from specific functional problems
    • Candidate Qualification: Which will be mixed between traditional admission procedures, and thorough study of candidates experience and educational background, to have best match between them and chosen SMEs
    • Chosen candidates will have an assigned tutor, who will prepare a customized curriculum for each student, based on SME needs and student’s background
    • Signature of Enrolment Contract between Business school and Student, and 2 years employment contract between SME firm and the student.
  • Phase two: 2 years “SME partnership MBA Program”
    • 1st term will consist of preparation courses, intensive workshops between student and SME under tutor supervision to prepare for SME business plan. This semester will be evaluated through final report, and courses exams.
    • During the program, the candidate will be evaluated at end of each quarter (semester) through:
      (1)Results of SME(Financial, HR measures…etc)(2)final report to tutor(3)SME feedback
  • Phase three: Graduation and future relationship between SME and graduate;
    SME and graduate can agree to have permanent contract based on employment or shares or other agreement, including donation to the business school