Until 2026, the Management Program for SMEs - Nova SBE VOICE Leadership - aims to support the modernization and competitiveness of decision-makers in national SMEs through intensive training on the different segments of business management.
The presentation to the initiative's partners, promoted by Nova SBE's Executive Training, will take place this Wednesday, October 25, from which applications for interested SMEs will also be open.
Currently, the level of competitiveness of Portuguese companies is very low when compared to other European Union countries: around 60% of Portuguese SMEs say they have no interest in exporting; 86% don't use essential management tools, and more than 70% haven't made any investment in digital transformation in the last two years. Knowing that the management literacy level defines the performance of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises, the business school aims to empower managers and decision-makers with tools and practices that will help improve their competitiveness and future growth.
Nova SBE Voice Leadership kicks off officially in April 2024 with the Management Program for SMEs, an intensive 18-month training program with a total of 80 hours of training where content, management support material, and the support of more than 200 mentors specialized in critical areas for growth and internationalization will be available. The program's panel of trainers goes beyond Nova SBE Professors and Researchers and also includes a Mentoring Certification Program, aimed at managers and leaders who want to put their professional or personal experience to society's use.
For Pedro Brito, Executive Director of the Nova SBE VOICE Leadership Initiative (Associate Director and CEO of Executive Education at Nova SBE), "This initiative is not just Nova SBE's, it's everyone's. It includes several partners and individuals who work together daily. It includes several partners and individuals who come together every day to participate in a movement whose main goal is to increase the competitiveness of Portuguese SMEs, with a direct impact on the creation of value and the Portuguese citizens' quality of life. This is the impact mission of Nova SBE and its Executive Education, which through partnerships and co-creation projects aims to contribute to a better and more sustainable society."
Throughout the VOICE Leadership initiative, an Impact Study of the program will also be developed by parameterizing and evaluating it in companies, studying their growth in different aspects such as exports, turnover, team growth, and internationalization, among other analysis indicators.
"Carrying out an impact study on the SME training, mentoring, and capacity building program is crucial to ensure that this is not just an investment with temporary effects, but a tool for long-term sustainable growth," says Miguel Ferreira, Academic Coordinator of Nova SBE VOICE Leadership Studies (Vice-Director of Teaching & Research at Nova SBE).
Miguel Ferreira adds, "by monitoring and evaluating the results and performance of SMEs throughout the program, we can ensure that they will increase their productivity, but also become real engines of economic growth, contributing substantially to Portugal's development and improving everyone's well-being. The impact assessment will also allow us to draw valuable lessons for policymakers and civil society to develop more comprehensive and effective programs for SMEs."