DCS-iSMEs: Design Customised Support for Innovative SMEs

This pilot explored the potential of a new innovation support scheme to enhance SME utilisation of ‘Design thinking’. The Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA) in Greece set up a brand-new innovation support service to help SMEs further develop their operations by enhancing the use of design.

KEPA has several years of experience in promoting the use of design thinking among SMEs. However, previous programmes have typically involved providing light-touch diagnostic support to SMEs. The organisation has seen that this is often insufficient to embed design thinking principles and processes within organisations fully. Under the DCS-iSMEs project, KEPA developed a more intense package of support to guide SMEs through the process of using design thinking. The organisation sought to test the potential impacts that this programme would have on the adoption of design thinking and on business performance.