SMEs, or small and medium enterprises are referred to as businesses that tend to serve local markets that have a nominal advantage competitively over their rivals. IDEs are innovation-driven enterprises, which seek out opportunities on a continuous basis with the intent of introducing consumers to a considerable amount of innovations. IDEs usually have a significant competitive advantage over their rivals and progress well in terms of their business development and growth. The benefits of SMEs are that they engender a team spirit mentality, and have an extensive quantity of flexibility.

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With respect to team spirit, small to medium companies by and large encourage a more comradery dynamic than larger companies. In essence, employees are able to form long-lasting friendships with other employees as SMEs evoke a kind of group like mentality rather than a management versus employee aspect. In terms of flexibility, SMEs tend to be able to contend with numerous issues that may occur in the consumer marketplace. While it is understood that challenges do occur, because there are minimal problems in terms of growth potential as there are often quick remedies to these problems due to the fact that management is heavily involved in what is actually happening. This is not to say that larger companies do not have a similar dynamic, but small enterprises rarely have a hierarchy and if they do, the business owner frequently interacts with the employees. The risks associated with SMEs can to a certain degree be the same as the benefits. While it true that flexibility works, this can also hinder the decision making process. Additionally, small to medium enterprises are often run as family owned businesses or by new entrepreneurs. As such, the quality of management is nowhere near the larger ones.

Innovation-driven enterprises tend to have a substantial amount of benefits in that they have a larger quantity of products and services that can be offered to the general public. Moreover, because they are driven by creativity, these entities tend to have a significant impact on reaching more audiences because of their marketing efforts. The risks associated with IDEs are that they require an upfront investment that is riskier than SDEs. Additionally, while innovation is more or less respected in the business world, because these types of businesses usually derive ideas that are untested, there is a higher likelihood that they will fail.

Creating a Culture of Innovation
There does appear to be a common denominator in terms of creating a culture of innovation per Aulet. Aulet announces that in order for innovation to be rampant within an organization, there needs to be a holistic approach to achieving long term success. In other words, these enterprises are successful only if they apply strategies that are different than what has been utilized before in the business world. The purpose of innovation is to be cutting-edge, fresh and new. If this is not embraced in an IDE, then the potential for failure is extremely high.

Aulet, Africa and Developing Countries
Aulet believes that through empowering women in Africa, that the continent can substantially progress both in its self-sufficiency and overall wealth economy. Since the continent is rapidly urbanizing, there is reason to believe that greater participation from women will undoubtedly increase productivity in the workforce – thereby, improving the overall elements connected to its markets and technology. Three countries that are becoming more innovative are Brazil, China and India.

Government & Aulet
Aulet outlines that while government should be involved in at the onset of the start of an organization/entrepreneurship, but because of its bureaucratic ways, it does not need to be in the proverbial business of running the companies. The writer agrees with this logic as entrepreneurship and innovation go hand in hand, and if government starts getting involved in how people run their organizations then they will no longer be innovative as government will most likely want to operate them similarly to the way the branches run. Aulet states that funding sources are actually more plentiful for entrepreneurs than what is typically thought. The United States has what is known as the Small Business Administration, which can assist in giving cash when needed without the considerable requirements that a bank loan may assert. Other ways of finding funding include securing a private investor, obtaining a grant or starting a crowdfunding campaign that the everyday individual can get behind.

Upon review of the hot trends for 2008, the only surprises to the writer were enhanced beverages and high tech ordering. The former was a surprise because these drinks have been around for a few years and for these to still be a viable means for entrepreneurship considering Coca Cola and Pepsi tend to dominate this area, was interesting to read about. As far as the latter, high tech ordering is something that is becoming the wave of the future, and was definitely at the beginning stages in 2008. This probably, more than enhanced beverages will continue to be a hot trend for entrepreneurs in 2015 and beyond because of the evolution of technology. Technology in essence is redefining how society eats, and the ways in which they order the food to nourish their bodies.

The webinar was interesting to watch. Learning about business management and additional ways in which the industry is evolving is always good to learn about. In addition to the knowledge that the writer currently has, there is always something supplemental that can be learned, as well as enhanced through a webinar and video.