All the smaller, and often bizarre and humorous, SME-related stories from Australia and abroad that we’ve come across this week.
University of Queensland Business School has topped the 2013 Financial Review BOSS MBA ranking, which ranks the best Master of Business Administration courses in the country. Melbourne Business School, long regarded as having Australia’s premiere MBA program, has slipped to second. Queensland business schools took five of the top 10 places in this year’s BOSS MBA ranking, indicating the growing strength and quality of business education in the state. Queensland University of Technology was ranked third, Bond University fifth, the University of Southern Queensland was eighth and Griffith University ninth for their MBA courses. The top-ranked executive MBA was the University of Sydney Business School Global Executive MBA, a $90,000 “in-depth experience” that, because of the seniority of its students, includes more experiential learning and less direct information. Melbourne Business School was also ranked second for its executive MBA, which is focused on Asia and structured in four-day, intensive modules.
A new survey published on www.smeweb.com in the UK has found some pretty interesting thoughts regarding the priorities of small business owners. According to the survey, by XLN Telecom, most small business owners in the UK would soldier on even if the lights went out, the heating went off and the water supply ran dry – so long as their internet connection remained. Nine out of 10 small business owners, partners and directors surveyed by said broadband was important to the running of their business. And when those businesses rated the importance of various utilities, 85 per cent rated broadband as important while only 50 per cent said the same about water. 83 per cent said electricity was important; 79 per cent said telephone; and just 29 per cent said gas. While pretty far out, these stats certainly are indicative of the technological age we’re living in.
Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand James Wise has said that too few Australian companies are taking advantage of doing business and investing in Thailand. Wise is encouraging Aussie businesses, particularly small firms, to learn more about Thailand and regard it as a new base of investment and a launching pad for Asean markets, notably Myanmar. Wise said Thailand is considered as a hospitable place for Australian businesses and industries that Australians have eyed include food, agricultural processing, logistics, alternative energy and services. Read the full story here…
…And while we’re on the matter of doing business in Thailand, the Bangkok Post reports that Leigh Scott-Kemmis, President of AustCham Thailand, believes Aussie SMEs are hesitant to invest in Thailand because of perceived political uncertainty, a perception he says has been built over time and is very difficult to overcome. To educate Australians about the Thai business atmosphere, AustCham has developed the Australian Business Forum (ABF) initiative.
Australian Defence Magazine reports that a significant number of Australian Industry & Defence Network (AIDN) members, who support the defence and security industries in Australia, have expressed apprehension that their future survival in these important sectors is in jeopardy. Most commentators agree that defence industry SMEs provide the innovation entrepreneurship which is required to maintain a functioning defence sector however this innovative capacity is being eroded as Australia’s defence industry is struggling due to a lack of adequate work. The result of these actions has led to a ‘crisis of confidence’ in the ownership of many defence industry SMEs and reluctance to invest in developing future capability.
A major bank in Malaysia is staging what it’s calling an American Idol-type of reality contest for SMEs in the country. Coupled with an online platform to engage young and dynamic entrepreneurs, the SME Innovation Challenge enables entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and talent. While we loathe reality TV as much as the next person, on paper there could be some merit in this…
Follow @mybusinessau on Twitter for breaking stories throughout the day.