Our visiting fellows programme is aimed at SME1 leaders in the North-East of England who are aiming to grow their companies. The fellows programme provides skill development for small business leaders and an opportunity to engage with Durham’s research into SMEs in the region. It is part of Durham University Business School’s Smart & Scale Programme.

The programme offers a range of problem-based training through foundational small business workshops from research experts around themes of scaling, innovation and new business development, sustainable supply chains, leadership, and emerging technologies. The programme is made up of a small group 8-10 business leaders who meet over the course of the academic year across thematic half-day workshops. It requires a commitment of a minimum of 20 hours.

We adopt a learning community format, meaning that trust and co-creation is vital in the group. Sessions are designed to give you the opportunity to discuss live business issues from your organisation and co-develop potential solutions. Sessions are run by academic experts at Durham.
You will have the opportunity to meet several academics and have opportunities to explore mutual interests. This allows fellows to explore potential research collaboration, engage with events, research centres and/or get involved in guest lectures. Fellows will also help to input into an annual engagement event, in collaboration with Durham Enterprise Centre. The suggested activities are not exhaustive, and we welcome fresh ideas and approaches related to challenges and opportunities for fellows and other SMEs in the North-East.

To apply, you must complete this form. For any enquiries, please contact Prof Jonathan Kimmitt, Smart & Scale Academic Lead (jonathan.kimmitt@durham.ac.uk) and/or Katherine Kirby (katherine.kirby@durham.ac.uk), Smart & Scale Business Development Manager. If the SME is based outside the North-East you will not be eligible to apply. Students may also not apply. The fellowship will begin in October 2024 for the entirety of the 2024/25 academic year.