Small Business Charter school students win award for online training course that helps SMEs export

More than 300 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been helped to develop business overseas by using a free online training course thanks to students at Salford Business School. The school received the Small Business Charter award at 10 Downing Street last month in recognition of their continual efforts to help forge links with small businesses in the Salford area.

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in 'Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business' was created and promoted by four MSc Marketing students at Salford and was recognised at the Big Chip Awards in Manchester last Thursday, where they were presented with the Little Chip Student Award, which celebrates digital excellence.

Salford Business School’s Centre for Digital Business submitted two projects, one a student Live Project and one a European research project. The two projects provide advice for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) and students about the use of social media for international business development.

The Little Chip Student Award winning project was developed by MSc Marketing students who created a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) called Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business. This free online course allows anyone interested in social media, to get advice and learn from academics and digital agencies. The course was created and promoted by four MSc Marketing students; Rebecca Lee, Vanessa Van Huynh, Maria Camila Villa and Luis Santos as their Business Innovation Project to complete their Masters studies.

The purpose of live projects is to give students a real tangible situation and problem to work through.  This provides an excellent opportunity to enhance their CVs and ultimately, their employability.

The team excelled on the project by creating an innovative digital course using video, text, animation and designing the structure of the course itself.

Maria, the team leader for the MOOC project, said: As a team, we were lucky enough to work for the pilot MOOC live project. The creation of the Search and Social Media Marketing for International Business MOOC was a challenge that was worth it and helped us to grow professionally.”

The academic staff supervisor on the MOOC project and the Passport to Trade 2.0 project leader, Dr Aleksej Heinze said: We are really thrilled that the hard work of the students paid off. They had to organise 16 UK based professionals to speak about digital marketing as well as promotion of the project with an international team of five universities and three SMEs. What they have created is an exceptional, free digital course of benefit to people globally – it is receiving an incredible amount of traffic to the website. I am very proud of their achievement”.

This industry recognition shows the high quality of work by University of Salford students who were already recognised by the Salford Advantage team as the Placement Team of the Year 2014.

This article was first published on by Aleksej Heinze on July 5 2014