What is CEMI?

"Innovation is one of the most fundamental processes underpinning economic growth, the driver of growth in output per unit of labour and capital invested, and an important basis for developing solutions to economic and social challenges such as climate change, ageing societies and poverty".

OECD (2010) SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Paris, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Our Purpose

In the 21st century the best managers will know how to unlock the potential of ideas and embrace innovation.  This is the primary way organizations will gain 
a sustainable competitive advantage within a knowledge-based economy. To achieve this goal, managers will need courage, enterprise and strategic vision in order to direct change and growth in their industry.
The Centre for Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation (CEMI) seeks to provide a focal point for research, education, training and knowledge exchange that will assist managers from large and small organizations to better prepare for the global market place.
CEMI is a source of ideas and a community of practice that seeks to draw together like minded people from academic communities who wish to undertake collaborative research or share knowledge into entrepreneurship and innovation. It is also a place for managers to access this community of practice for a range of purposes including:
  • Consulting
  • Research
  • Training
  • Support

Why Entrepreneurial Management?

Small to medium sized enterprises (SME) comprise 99% of all the businesses across the OECD group of developed economies. They also employ around two-thirds of the entire workforce and contribute over half of all value added.1 Small companies comprise the bulk of Australia’s economy, but the majority do not survive the first five years of business. CEMI has programs to help owners and managers of SMEs learn to work on the business rather than in the business. By developing an entrepreneurial mindset, SME owner-managers can leave the competition behind through growth, improving margins, narrowing or changing focus, and enhancing their managerial skills.

Why Innovation?

The ability to identify innovative technologies and bring them to market faster than competitors is a fundamental element for a firm’s success in today’s global economy. CEMI can help scientists, researchers, and managers realise the potential of innovation and gain a greater understanding of the commercialisation process. They will enhance their understanding of opportunity assessment, risk management, strategic planning, venture financing, and develop the skills needed to launch outstanding innovative companies.

Our History

CEMI was originally founded in November 2002 as part of what was then the Graduate School of Management (GSM) of the University of Western Australia (UWA). Its focus then, as now, was on being a focal point for research, education and industry engagement programs with the primary goal of development and enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of managers and fostering innovation within industry.
CEMI operated within the UWA GSM from its inception until its decommissioning in June 2007. During that time it built a strong multidisciplinary approach to its research, teaching and consulting work. This included applied research and consulting projects, hosting several academic research studies, and developing a series of best practice management development programs. The centre also held numerous workshops, seminars and symposiums.

Our Future

The founder and principal architect of CEMI was Tim Mazzarol, a Winthrop Professor from the UWA Business School. Following a sabbatical in which he wrote a book, The Strategy of Small Firms with his co-author Professor Sophie Reboud of the Centre for Business Research (CEREN) at the Burgundy School of Business in Dijon, Tim decided that it was time to re-launch CEMI.
CEMI today is a virtual centre designed to provide a focal point for the exchange of ideas, knowledge, research and information about entrepreneurship and innovation. This website will be a forum for the work undertaken by Professor Mazzarol and his associates to be disseminated to the wider community and for others with an interest in these fields of inquiry to join in by accessing its pages and sharing their ideas via its feedback pages.
While CEMI was a formal centre within UWA in the past it is no longer associated formally with that institution and the views expressed within the pages of this website are not those of the University. However, Professor Mazzarol is an employee of UWA and his research and teaching activities will span across both UWA and CEMI. The creation of this website and virtual centre is a means by which the history of the original University can be preserved and its spirit can continue.
Ultimately CEMI is about having a passion for entrepreneurship and innovation, with a desire to stimulate ideas and encourage enterprise in the wider community. For those interested in these important subjects this website and the centre that supports it are for you.
Professor Tim Mazzarol
Director CEMI
24 October 2010
1 - OECD (2010). SMEs, Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Paris, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.