Ketso in Enterprise Skills Development Overview

 Ketso has been used in a wide range of enterprise development contexts, from the UK to Signapore. Ketso has been used in enterprise skills training in the Universities of Newcastle, Durham, Manchester, Liverpool, Cambridge, Sussex, Birmingham,  Surrey and through the Northern Enterprise School

Small business owners have used Ketso to work out solutions to thorny problems, including a hairdresser who used it to work out which parts of her business were actually making money and how to cut out the other areas.

Examples of this work are shown below:

What works - International Enterprise Educators' Conference

Ketso was used at the International Enterprise Educators' Conference 2011 in Coventry University,  to stimulate dialogue amongst over 100 delegates.

The questions asked were:

  • What works?
  • Why does it work?
  • How do we know it works?

Ideas for action were also developed. 887 ideas were developed in forty-five minutes of active dialogue. Feedback from delegates was positive, especially after a summary of they key ideas developed were fed back in the final plenary session. 

You can download a report summarising the results here, and a spreadsheet with the full set of results here.

Enterprise Skills Development

Teams of enterprise students use Ketso to develop their thinking about their ideas for enterprises, exploring issues such as: production and delivery, marketing & sales, cash flow & financing, team and partnerships and research & development. In several of these workshops the focus has been on social enterprises, so issues of social mission and the wider community have also been explored. Read about an an example of such training, an enterprise summer school for postgraduates at Birmingham here

From this work, we have developed as series of workshop plans available to download for free for people to use with their Ketso in developing an idea or a plan for an enterprise.

An Enterprisers Facilitator  commented:

“Ketso really produced great results, and the group dynamics were great. People were really thinking things through and developing a sophisticated idea in a very short period of time. You couldn’t test this at a higher
level than the Enterprisers training – some of the best minds in enterprise planning from MIT and universities across the UK, as well as the brightest PhD and Masters students in the UK, and Ketso performed really well.” (Prof. Max Robinson; Enterprise Education Director at Durham University, CEO & Founder of Kromek).

A participant at Enterprisers: an entrepreneurship course at Durham University in association with the ESRC commented: 

“Looking back, I am impressed with what we were able to achieve in a short period of time. The tools were really good to allow the possibility of conceptualizing different aspects of setting up an organisation. The teams developed a real energy, and it was fun. I wanted to set up the organisation we planned. You get a holistic picture of a whole strategy in a short period of time." .

In 2010 , Ketso was showcased at an Enterprise Educators UK Best Practice event, discussed as part of the University of Birmingham's Postgraduate Enterprise Summer School, and used to facilitate a workshop on best practice with Enterprise Educators. Comments from this event included:

  •  “We got lots of ideas quickly”.
  • “Visual, fun, encourages discussion and debate”. 
  • “Helps you understand cause and effect… Simplifies a complex issue”.
  • “Easy for everyone to take part”
  • “Great, fun way of recording ideas”
  •  “Powerful, inclusive and democratic”

Enterprising Midlands

Enterprising Midlands

This interactive workshop on March 15, 2010 was attended by sixteen people from organizations as diverse as the Nottingham Building Society, Universities across the Midlands and Northamptonshire Enterprise Limited. The overall aim of the workshop was to introduce Ketso whilst giving participants the opportunity to learn new skills in engaging with stakeholders. The main workshop activity was to consider how to promote an ‘Enterprising Midlands’.

The workshop yielded 234 ideas in less than three hours about how to promote an Enterprising Midlands.

Discussions at all of the tables revealed that participants felt there was a major lack of awareness and understanding of business and enterprise in the wider society. Suggestions were made to include enterprise training and business skills in all curricula, from primary school to undergraduate university courses. Many ideas put forward suggested a need for better communication and links between academia and businesses.

There were several problems noted with regards to attitude, including:

  • Loss of hope
  • Changing the culture to 'can do'
  • Excessive pessimism and fear
  • Fear of failure
  • Lack of joined up thinking
  • Lack of awareness

Specific goals in the area of business guidance and education, which could help counter these negative perceptions, were the development of ‘an enterprise education/awareness strategy and implementation plan’ to enable ‘everyone having access to enterprise training’, and it was seen that this should be from primary school right through the curriculum and into the workplace.

You can download the full report (pdf) from this workshop. The excel spreadsheet containing the full results is also available for download here (xls).

This event was kindly supported by the Entrepreneurship and Innovation team at the University of Birmingham.

Ideas for Social Enterprise in Brighton

Planning a Social Enterprise & A Sense of Place

A workshop at the University of Sussex looked at developing social enterprise to support the creative industries in the Brighton area. It was attended by 29 people from organisations including: Creative Partnerships, Business Link South East, local social enterprises and charities, Brighton & Hove City Council, East Sussex Credit Union, Routledge, Wealden Local Strategic Partnership and the Asian University for Women Support Foundations.

Feedback from participants on the use of Ketso in the workshop included:

  • Realisation of how many ideas you can come up with in a short amount of time
  • Found the use of organic metaphors very refreshing (other icons equally interesting)
  • Love the sustainable ethical underpinnings of business
  • The big idea came out
  • Useful way of structuring planning
  • Promotes REAL communication
  • Democratic sharing of ideas
  • Seems very user friendly, flexible and practical
  • Ketso gets ideas into the open
  • Love the visual aspect

This event was hosted by the Business and Enterprise team at the University of Sussex. 

Ketso as a case study in social enterprise

Joanne was a speaker at the University of Manchester's Research to Enterprise Summit in June, 2010, in an event hosted by Julia Bradbury with speakers including: music industry entrepreneur Pete Waterman and Univeristy of Manchester`s Richard Walmsley (Gentronix) and Tim Campbell, winner of TV’s “The Apprentice.”

VITAE have posted a full set of training resources around social enterprise aimed at researchers and trainers working in developing research skills.  This features Ketso as a case study. You can see the Ketso case study here, and the training resource for introducing social enterprise here.

VITAE is "a national organisation championing the personal, professional and career development of doctoral researchers and research staff in higher education institutions and research institutes" (http://www.vitae.ac.uk).

VITAE has also produced a series of videos as part of this resource: