SME Excellence

Professionalise and grow your SME business


FT ranked logo colour

in Open Executive Education in Belgium and #24 worldwide




for Learning Impact

You’ve built a thriving business that’s running at full capacity. You’re both the driving force and the strategist of the company. You’re also keeping a tight rein on things at operational level. It's a lot to deal with. Do you dream of delegating work and making the business less dependent on you? Is it time to invest in management, people and systems so that your SME can keep growing and prospering? This 10-day, programme gives you the support and insights you need to take your business to the next level. With the help of Vlerick experts, peers and business coaches, you’ll develop a business plan that provides a bridge between strategy and daily practice – and that gives you solid foundations to further professionalise and grow your company.

Detailed programme

This 10-day programme is structured around three pillars. The first is made up of management training with practice-oriented sessions where you apply management theory, models and tools to your own company. The second is an individual coaching programme by business coaches and experts. The third is access to the unique Vlerick learning network of fellow entrepreneurs and the wider Vlerick ecosystem for lifelong learning. You’ll also use the Vlerick Growth Scan to identify the soft spots in your management you can still work on. Then you’ll refine your personal vision for growing your business in a sustainable way.

You’ll also use Vlerick’s 360° growth capability scan to identify the management areas you need to work on. Then you’ll refine your personal vision for growing your business in a sustainable way. 

There are two tracks to follow: 


Module 1: Entrepreneurship, growth and strategy 

  • Understand why strategy is as important as daily operations 
  • Assess your business model and begin to plan a winning strategy 
  • Identify your growth phase and the challenges that come with it  
  • Explore the capabilities you need to achieve sustainable growth 
  • Visualise the process to translate your strategy into operational KPIs and actions – using tools including Strategy Mapping and Balanced Scorecard 

Module 2: Marketing, sales, and digitisation

  • Discover how to set up and develop a sales strategy, including performance metrics 
  • Learn to proactively manage your sales pipeline by evaluating the resources and people you need to meet your targets
  • Become more customer centric and develop a unique value proposition 
  • Identify technology that can add value to your business

Module 3: Leadership and people management

  • Reflect on your leadership skills – and identify areas to improve
  • Learn to customise your approach to motivate your employees to perform better
  • Examine how to attract the ‘right’ employees to your organisation
  • Explore ways to keep talented employees on board – and coach them along the way
  • Learn to say yes to delegating responsibilities, as well as outsourcing tasks

Module 4: Financial management

  • Learn to interpret your financials and evaluate your company’s financial health
  • Understand the questions to ask financial advisors so you can improve financial reporting


  • Carry out a thorough analysis of your current business practices – including your own management performance
  • Draw up a strategic business plan that maps out your company’s future plans – and translates them into milestones, actions and objectives 
  • Get expert, tailored advice from a unique panel of experienced business coaches and experts
  • Take part in three individual coaching sessions – and come away with a concrete business plan for your sme

In partnership with

VKW Limburg

Why this programme

  • Discover how to make the company less dependent on you by working on – instead of in – your company
  • Analyse your performance and make strategic choices for the future, with guidance from a panel of experts
  • Assess your organisation from a strategic perspective and identify your next growth phase
  • Put systems and processes in place to professionalise your business
  • After graduating from this programme, you are entitled to join our alumni network. Visit the Vlerick Alumni website for more information

Want to get a flavour of this programme? Watch the participant testimonials on this video and get a feel for the energy, enthusiasm, the approach to learning, the return on investment for you and your company and why previous participants recommend this programme to you.

Who should attend

  • SME owners with at least 10 full-time employees, who want to professionalise their company’s management 
  • Managing Directors or CEOS of SMEs with at least 10 full-time employees

Practical info

To apply for this programme, you need to complete four steps:

1. Check your eligibility: Check if you meet the admissions criteria for the programme you want to apply for.

2. Submit your application: Fill out the application form and upload it together with your cv or LinkedIn profile.

3. Take part in an interview: When we receive your application, we’ll get in touch to set up an interview. This will take about an hour and will cover:

  • Your professional experience and current challenges
  • Your career ambitions
  • Why you want to take the programme
  • Which electives are right for you (if the programme includes electives)

4. Confirm your registration: If you pass the interview, we’ll send you a registration form. You’ll have two weeks to complete and submit the form to confirm your programme place.


Steve Muylle

Steve Muylle

Professor of Digital Strategy and Marketing

Steve Muylle creates business impact with actionable insight about digital technology.

Hans Crijns

Hans Crijns

Professor of Entrepreneurship

Hans Crijns shares insight into entrepreneurial processes and what they could mean for you.

Koen Dewettinck

Koen Dewettinck

Professor of Human Resources Management

Koen Dewettinck improves the way we manage people to boost engagement and performance.

Mathieu Luypaert

Mathieu Luypaert

Professor of Corporate Finance

Mathieu Luypaert explains how insights into financial figures and decisions can lead to value creation.

Frank Goedertier

Frank Goedertier

Professor of Marketing

Frank Goedertier is passionate about marketing, customer journey management, brand strategy and impactful public speaking.

Miguel Meuleman

Miguel Meuleman

Professor of Entrepreneurship

Miguel Meuleman is passionate about the process, people and investors behind new venture ideas.

Filip Roodhooft

Filip Roodhooft

Professor of Management Accounting

Filip Roodhooft shows you how the finance function can be a valuable business partner for your organisation. 

Kurt Verweire

Kurt Verweire

Professor of Strategy

Kurt Verweire is a specialist in helping companies to develop and implement winning business strategies. 

Veroniek Collewaert

Veroniek Collewaert

Professor of Entrepreneurship

Veroniek Collewaert explores – and improves – relationship dynamics between investors and entrepreneurs.

Yannick Dillen

Yannick Dillen

Professor of Management Practice

Yannick Dillen is an expert on high-growth start-ups and scale-ups.

Get in touch!

Fanny Verhauwaert

Fanny Verhauwaert

Programme Manager