Festival of Entrepreneurial Solutions

Futures Entrepreneurship Centre International Week 2017

  • The Loft, Vauxhall Quay, Sutton Harbour, Plymouth

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Dr Marta Hawkins, Director of the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, part of Plymouth Business School would like to invite you to attend an interactive event taking part during the Futures Entrepreneurship Centre International Week of research.

At this first ever Festival of Entrepreneurial Solutions held by the centre, Plymouth Business School academic experts will share their knowledge with local businesses and organisations, so they can apply best possible solutions to their everyday operations. The networking event will enable all participants to forge new relationships and work together on different aspects of business making and research.

The aim of this event is to enable enterprise, academics and students to meet and brainstorm ideas on how to enhance business operation in the following areas: Marketing and PR, Digitalisation, Finance and Loans, Sustainability and Reaching new markets.

There will be practical demonstrations of the most current digital software and applications throughout the day: the first will help small businesses to enhance their PR, and another will explain how to undertake the transfer of SMEs accounting onto online platforms required by the new legislation from 2018.

This event is aimed at small businesses, academics, students, investors, social enterprises, community groups which operates locally and reach out nationally and internationally.

The purpose is to enable enterprise, academics and students to meet and brainstorm ideas on how to enhance business operation and efficiency in the following areas: marketing and PR, economic efficiency, finance and loans, and reaching international markets (Chinese reach).


  • 11:00-11:25 - Registration, demonstration and networking
  • 11:30-11:50 - Welcome by Professor Nikolaos Tzokas, Dean of the Faculty of Business, Plymouth University
  • 11:50-12:30 - Presentation 1 Trade credit management and mitigation of late payment (Professor Salima Paul)
  • 12:35-13:20 - Presentation 2: Reaching the Chinese markets (Professor Peijie Wang)
  • 13:20-14:30 - Lunch and networking
  • 14:30-15:10 - Presentation 3: Creating value through marketing (Dr Sofia Daskou)
  • 15:15-16:00 - Presentation 4: Applications of efficiency and productivity analysis (Dr Panagiotis Tziogkidis)
  • 16:00-17:00 - Closing comments by Dr Marta Hawkins, Director of Futures Entrepreneurship Centre, followed by networking over a drink (the bar will be open)

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Today's events

Presentation 1: Trade credit management and mitigation of late payment

Speaker: Professor Salima Paul

At one level, trade credit is extraordinarily simple – it occurs when a supplier of goods or services permits a customer to defer payment for a period of time after delivery. This simple concept underlies an enormous range of business-to-business financial arrangements that arise out of complex networks of relationships. This presentation will examine the reasons why the potential strategic benefits of trade credit are not more routinely achieved by SMEs and why the solutions enacted thus far have proved ineffective. This virtually unregulated and largely informal financial market has grown organically and has low visibility. Because of tight cash positions and/or competitive pressures, SMEs are particularly reliant on the use of trade credit to attract customers and ensure liquidity. In times of recession in particular, small businesses bear the brunt of the credit squeeze and SMEs may have to offer even more generous credit terms to win business, further increasing their risk exposure. Nonetheless, trade credit exposes suppliers to significant default risk, and SMEs are particularly vulnerable, by virtue of their size, if customers pay late or not at all. Given the preponderance of SMEs in the UK and their role as an engine for growth and job creation, this is an obvious matter of concern. The presentation will look at way of mitigating late payment risk. Approaches towards mitigating late payment problems, such as regulation, self-regulation and disclosure requirements, can be useful tools for firms but cannot ever constitute a comprehensive answer because trade credit relationships are so complex and heterogeneous.

Presentation 2: Reaching the Chinese markets

Speaker: Professor Peijie Wang

Professor Wang will introduce the China-Britain Business Council to the local enterprise which would like to expand and build new business relations in Asia. CBBC help both British and Chinese businesses and organisations work together in China, the UK and emerging markets around the world. With 60 years' experience, experts in 11 UK offices and 15 Chinese locations, and a diverse 1,000 members, CBBC operate alongside the British Chamber of Commerce in China to support companies of all sizes and sectors.

Presentation 3: Creating value through marketing

Speaker: Dr Sofia Daskou

The presentation refers to contemporary practices of creating value for customers and firms, assuming a Relationship Marketing approach to business management. The issue of firm network participation is addressed and how it shapes marketing strategy for various types of firms (including SMEs, family owned firms and corporations). Furthermore, the presentation explains the utility of understanding the customer perspective in managing a firm, taking under consideration the special characteristics of small and/or family owned businesses. It also explains how to build successful customer experiences and discusses marketing methods of creating and delivering value for the stakeholders of the firm.

Presentation 4: Applications of efficiency and productivity analysis

Speaker: Panagiotis Tziogkidis

This presentation explores how efficiency and productivity analysis can be useful in monitoring and organising a firm’s operations. The fundamental concepts are first introduced, while the importance of identifying the most relevant inputs, outputs and environmental variables in measuring efficiency is highlighted. The relevant concepts are illustrated through two real-world applications. The first case examines the efficiency of Chilean banks and illustrates how these models can help in the identification of areas for improvement. The second case considers some aspects of a consultancy project for the US Department of Transportation, where the influence of environmental variables on the efficiency of air traffic control towers requires special attention. The presentation concludes with a discussion of how these models can be implemented in the context of SMEs, to monitor how efficiently they utilise their resources compared to their peers.


During all events filming and photography will be taking place for promotional purposes. Please contact the organisers if you do not wish to be photographed or filmed.

Email: futurescentre@plymouth.ac.uk 

Event photography and video
Please be aware that some of the University of Plymouth's public events may be attended by University photographers and videographers, for capturing content to be used in University online and offline marketing and promotional materials, for example webpages, brochures or leaflets. If for whatever reason, you or a member of your group, do not wish to be photographed, please make yourself known to staff working at the event on arrival or to the photographer.