ACCA Ireland (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is encouraging SMEs to sign up for a new initiative that will equip them with the skills to better understand how to run a business.
Launching on Monday next, the initiative is a global collaboration between ACCA, the University of Exeter Business School and online learning platform FutureLearn.
Together, they are launching a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) - Discovering Business in Society - which is open to all and free to study.
The aim of the eight week course is to teach the principles of business and is intended for working professionals without a background in business, people looking to set up their own business, or anyone looking to upskill. For those interested in entering the finance profession and seeking a route to ACCA qualification, the MOOC can be a starting point.
Liz Hughes, Head of ACCA Ireland, said: "The whole point of this MOOC is that it is all encompassing. It can be a way for someone looking to begin their journey into the finance profession with ACCA, but it could also be a useful resource for someone seeking to start a business, to get a better understanding of what's involved, or for someone looking to return to work with a new set of skills. It's not unusual for people already in work to look to change career, and this gives them a taster of what it might be like in a business environment. It's open to anyone, anywhere, of any age who wants to do it."
"Because it is entirely online, anyone in Ireland with access to the internet can study it. Even if those who study it choose not to use it to further their careers or become entrepreneurs they will have a deeper understanding of how business is relevant in society."