The power of design for your SME

Hello there.
Recently I have been conducting some research in Horizon 2020 and the The European Design Leadership Board. The research establishes thatdesign is the key driver for innovation. As a designer I have always known this, and this is common knowledge within design circles, not so much within the European commission, until these reports were established.  Part of the report established that:

There is a lack of specialised design- based training and mentoring pro- grammes for entrepreneurs and SMEs across Europe. This highlights the need for a fundamental integration of design into the programmes and activities, (and culture), of existing business 39and innovation-based incubators ofEurope.

For years design has been seen as an add-on at the end of a process, but as the report establishes, design integration at every stage will give SME’s a competitive edge, by creating user centred products and services. There is no better example of a design driven company then Apple, with design at the forefront, they have become the biggest technology brand of our time, not bad for a company that started off in a garage.But what happens next for SME’s? Design can be a confusing area, even more so when it is mentioned within business. Is it a case that Innovation centres that they run meetings and workshops on design implantation? This would be ideal for a small business staring out, helping them save cost and create a design driven brand. I have attached the report, ideal for some bed time reading.