Award-winning blended learning for Scottish Enterprise
Scottish business owners who want to export their products and services overseas have faced the twin challenges of Covid-19 restrictions and Brexit in recent years.
To support these entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses, economic development agency Scottish Enterprise partnered with Mind Tools for Business to create a blended learning programme.
This programme had to fit in around the demands of each participant’s business, while offering practical advice, tailored consultancy sessions and opportunities to share best practice with peers.
Online learning modules, virtual workshops and 1:1 consultancy sessions help participants create a practical export plan that they can use to grow their business.
Each participant starts by logging into our online platform, where they complete three 20-minute e-learning modules. Each module introduces a key exporting topic, gives participants an opportunity to practice making decisions, then prompts them to complete a draft export plan.
Participants then come together, as a group, to share their experiences and learn from each other during an online workshop.
And, finally, participants meet with consultants and the experts from Scottish Enterprise for tailored advice and support.
This blended learning cycle is repeated four times, with participants iteratively refining their export plan until they have a working document that they can use to develop their strategy, identify partners and unlock funding.
The blended programme paid for itself in two years, while delighting participants and preparing them for growth.
In a follow-up survey to the programme, 100% of participants said they found it engaging; 100% said they had a better understanding of exporting; and 88.9% said they were confident executing their export plan.
The Scottish Enterprise team also reported an annual financial saving, over previous face-to-face programmes, that meant the programme paid for itself in two years while freeing public sector money to be re-invested.
Looking to the future, Scottish Enterprise plan to grow the programme with potential to support 400 companies over the next two years.
Hear from the participants
Speaking about the impact of the ‘export plan’ functionality, Scottish Enterprise Project Lead Kash Reid says:
People can now change their plan as and when they want. And that’s significant because, if they’re going to a bank, and have completed the plan to a strong enough level of detail, the bank can better understand the company’s direction of travel. This plan can also be used as an aid when speaking to potential business partners.