The key issue with small business is not their size....but their isolation!
The RDA held the "Building Innovation through Collaboration Workshop" last week at the fabulous venue of The Winehouse at Langhorne Creek with excellent food and service provided by Deb Potts and her staff.
Thirteen businesses and 21 people attended in all with some great presentations. David Viola who has worked extensively in government and manufacturing presented on the basics of Industry Clusters and how clusters around the world are powerful drivers of economic development and innovation and provide a fertile business environment especially for small businesses. Mark Bell from the Riverland RDA spoke on the clusters he is developing in the Riverland and his experience undertaking a fellowship through the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust researching business cluster development and facilitation from leading European countries. Andy Roberts the CEO from the Water Alliance spoke about the development of the Water Alliance and its role in the development of the water industry in South Australia as an industry cluster and what innovations this has lead to. Finally Jack Langberg from PIRSA spoke about the Food and Wine Co-innovation Cluster Program being undertaken by the South Australian Government.
Some of the main points to come from the night are that clusters and collaborations between business provide increased productivity, innovation, business start-ups, economic growth, employment, wages, entrepreneurship and attract more investment. Small businesses (less than 10 employees) are an important part of clusters making up around 42% of businesses involved.
Presentation from the night will be available shortly on the RDA website.
Final words from the night:
"The key issue with small business is not their size..........but their isolation"
Quote from OECD and Ifor Ffowcs-Williams