Small and Medium Enterprise Research Centre (SMERC)
SMERC is based within ECU's School of Management and is recognised nationally and internationally for research that produces outcomes of significant value to academe and practice in the small and medium enterprise domain. SMERC's mission is:
- to engage with the local community and develop on-going relationships and research partnerships
- to disseminate relevant research to the small business and academic communities through publications, seminars and teaching, and
- to raise the SME profile in the academic, professional and practitioner communities.
Recent research undertaken by SMERC includes:
- Online training and SMEs: This project, funded by an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage grant and conducted with the WA Department of Education, has investigated how small business operators engage with vocational education training online. It developed a profile of which businesses used online training and the purpose of training to help shape future design of training packages.
- Skill shortages in regional WA: This multi-partner project has explored the effects of skills shortages on small businesses in seven regional areas in WA. The findings support local government strategies that could address problems identified in the regions.
- Green Advantage for Small Business: This substantial program, conducted in partnership with AusIndustry, the Swan Catchment Council and West Coast Institute of Training, delivered environmental management skills to 450 small business owners/operators, including recycling, waste management and energy reduction tools and techniques. The provided enterprises with environmental saving tools and ongoing online support for initiatives.
- Small and medium enterprises and environmental management: This project, in collaboration with the City of Stirling, seeks to determine the impact and influence of education on small businesses of, on education, on environmental management measures, and and measure the effect of management changes on the environment.
- Small and medium enterprises and environmental management: This project, in collaboration with the City of Stirling, seeks to determine the impact and influence of education on small businesses of environmental management measures, and the effect of management changes on the environment.
SMERC's lead researcher, Professor Beth Walker, and her staff have received commendations for engagement, and were highlighted as exemplars of sustained community collaboration at Edith Cowan University, in the successful nomination for the Business/Higher Education Road Table Ashley Goldsworthy Award for 2010.
Key ECU Staff
Professor Beth Walker, Dr Janice Redmond.
Small Business Centres, Small Business Development Corporation, Chambers of Commerce, local governments (metro and rural).