Small to Medium Business Enterprises

Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are businesses with assets, a number of employees or revenues that fall below a certain level for them to be considered large businesses. SMEs can come from any industry but, due to their nature, some businesses such as personal care services and trucking companies operating with few employees, are more likely to be considered SMEs than others. These enterprises are usually given financial help, favorable taxation and other incentives. The classification of SMEs differ from country to country yet in all cases SMEs make up the majority of the business world in most countries.

Types of SMEs

Although SMEs hold unmeasurable responsibilities in the business world in general, SMEs play specific roles that should be recognised and should be awarded some focus as not all SMEs are created equal.
1. Technical SMEs
SMEs that fall under this group are primarily focused on the technical aspect of the business world and is not overly involved in other aspects such as implementation when it comes to instructional design. These SMEs often work in groups and are aimed towards providing content knowledge and making sure that every detail relating to content is correct. In most cases, the larger the project, the more likely you can expect more experts to be involved. Engineers, lawyers and scientists are some examples of technical SMEs.
2. Hybrid SMEs
This group of SMEs encompasses those who are both content and implementation experts. Enterprises in this group are required to provide support in both the content of a course and the best ways to deliver it, assuming substantial documented expertise in these two areas. An expertise in both content and implementation is an advantage in most, but not all, cases, and should be highly considered when looking at the qualifications of an SME. One with only a notable expertise in one field such as a depth in content and a visible lack of applicable knowledge in implementation can be a source of friction and frustration when both these qualities need to come in play.
3. Instructional SMEs
SMEs in this group have been defined as having the primary role of enhancing the instructional aspects of training during implementation, even though they may possess some degree of expertise in the subject matter. Coaches, facilitators and teachers are roles that fall under the instructional subject matter expert category. Gaining this group’s view on how best to implement content is rather valuable.
4. Functional SMEs
Those in this group are not experts in the content or implementation area, yet are rather valuable to the project. Enterprises in this group include programmers, software engineers and artists, just to name a few. They are often not considered valuable additions to a project, but they are in every way subject matter experts in their professions.
5. Sentinel SMEs
Enterprises that fall under this classification of SMEs are usually those that manage and monitor many of the projects in the business world, yet possessing a less relevant or dated knowledge when it comes to content. Members of governing boards, grant committees or those that sit on oversight committees are usually described as falling under this group. Sentinel SMEs may sit in judgment of courses and programs, expecting to influence content decisions which may be a distraction to the decision making process. However, in other instances technical and hybrid SMEs may sit as sentinels on projects which can be seen as a real advantage in moving positive momentum towards decision making as their inputs is from the perspective of a technical expert and sentinel leader for the project.

Developing small to medium enterprises helps achieve growth that is a centralized theme to the business world and to projects that a business may wish to undertake. These enterprises play a vital role in a country’s production networks overall, and are an advantage to the economic growth of developing countries.

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