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Innovation Assignment on SMEs Operating in UK & Ireland


Task: You are required to write a report on innovation assignment detailing the application of the proposed innovation in SMEs operating in different sectors in the UK and how the solution could be implemented in a similar company in another city in the EU or International country. You should incorporate the challenges associated with implementing the innovative solution and the expected benefits to all stakeholders.


The intent of the innovation assignment is to detail the application of the innovation being proposed within the SMEs operating in the various sectors of the UK, and the manner in which the solution being implemented can be used by the companies operating on the international stage. The chosen industry for the UK is online health service industry, and restaurant industry of Ireland. The report will constitute of the external audit of both UK, as well as Ireland to decide upon the aspects making the issue an opportunity for the SMEs. Proceeding further, the user personas will be discussed as well for whom the solution is being designed. The report will also cover the pain points, which are issues of the users associated with the main problem. The report will comprise of the solution design, along with the key and vital international considerations for its implementation in the overseas market as well.

Section 1: External analysis
Pestle analysis of the Healthcare online service industry in UK and Restaurant industry in Ireland is listed below;


The healthcare sector in UK is still influenced by various factors involving tax rule changes, customer protection and insurance mandates (, 2021). Current government has been spending for online healthcare could be impacted by the new tax changes. This could be an opportunity, permitting for developed SMEs or subsidies in this industry.


As the pandemic has forced medical experts to minimize in-person services, demands of online customized health services and telehealth services have developed (, 2021). Even the UK recovers from COVID-19 situation, demands for online health services is likely to sustain higher, as people, which had tried these services in pandemic likely to continue.


People will become more health conscious even after the pandemic ends. Thus, understanding certain demographic changes will be important for the small telehealth companies in UK (, 2021).


Value-based health care is an important factor here. Online pharmacy, online doctor services and other technical development are necessary features for this industry in the UK (, 2021).


Data protection, information control, use of software and apps, intellectual property rights are the main legal concerns for the small and medium companies in this industry in the United Kingdom (Turner et al., 2020).


Though the online delivery of medical aids, medicines in recycled packages and other services the environmental footprints could be minimised (McDonald et al., 2020).

Table 1: External analysis of Healthcare online service industry in UK
(Source: Created by the Learner)

Restaurant industry in Ireland external analysis


Ireland is a politically stable country with written constitution for the businesses. Currently, amidst Covid-19, online food take-of, promotions and home deliveries have increased rapidly (Rincón-Gallardo et al., 2020). This is an opportunity for the SMEs in this industry to open their operations in this market.


The unemployment rates and disposable income rate have been increased and being stable even in the pandemic situations. These are important factors for the online food and restaurant industry in this market (Díaz-Puche et al., 2020). Customers with good disposable income rate will go for the on-demand and personalized home deliveries from the companies.


Major influencing factors for the people in this market will be hygiene and quality of the food ingredients and cooked foods they are having from the SMEs (Yang et al., 2020). It should be remembered that information regarding from where the raw materials have been purchased will benefit the companies.


Good and continuous reach with the consumer base will help the small and medium range companies in the online food delivery and restaurant industry in this market (Díaz-Puche et al., 2020). Along with the previous matters, online promotional activities should also be carried out such as online videos on making foods and complementary instruction videos when they are purchasing groceries for customized foods and recipes from the companies.


Legal regulations are not complicated for the new or small businesses while establishing or developing overseas operations in this market (Rincón-Gallardo et al., 2020). Though the tax payment and data protection acts need to be reviewed.


Online operations and use of recycled items in packaging will help in reducing the carbon footprint level of these companies and this will also help in minimizing the food waste concerns.

Table 2: External analysis of Restaurant industry in Ireland
(Source: Created by the Learner)

Section 2: Personas (Users)
The SME sector in the healthcare industry of the UK has been developing and the need for this has been felt by the current on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The UK has been badly affected by the pandemic as the country saw a peak in the number of infections during the later months of 2020 and the numbers have been steady. The UK government has been proactive in helping the SME sector of the healthcare industry and has announced several incentives and financial support programs for the firms operating in this sector (, 2021). The healthcare industry has seen a paradigm shift in terms of viewing patients as they have now been viewing patients as clients and customers and this strategy can be helpful for the growth of the organizational strategy of the firms. The following table shows the customer persona of the healthcare industry of the UK.

Customer Segment


Number of Members


Aged customers

The aged people generally have a number of health complications and hence would need the services at the convenience of home and at regular intervals and timely delivery and they would prefer online purchasing.


Above 60 years

Middle aged customers

These customers would prefer online services since they have professional responsibilities and hence need timely services from the firms.


Between 30-60 years

Young Adults

These customers are mostly working professionals or students and hence they require services at frequent intervals whenever necessary.


Between 18-30 years

Families having children

These customers have varied requirements and hence they tend to get the services and products in bulk for saving time and cost expenses.


Between 1- 45 years

Families without children

These customers prefer the convenience of bulk buying from online services since they have the constraints of time and cost.


Between 20- 25 years

Table 3: Consumer Persona of Healthcare Industry
(Source: Created by the learner)

The restaurant industry of Ireland has a significant portion of it that is occupied by the SME sector. The firms generally have 5-50 employees and have a large contribution to the Food & Beverages industry altogether. The industry had been performing well till 2019 and had a significant contribution to the Irish economy till the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and the lockdown restrictions had to be imposed on the country. The country is still in level five lockdown and hence the restaurants, bars and other eateries have been closed for the time being (Irish Mirror, 2021). The customers have the option of ordering food online at the convenience of their homes. The customers also have the alternative of takeaways, however, the growth of the online food ordering platforms have significantly reduced the number of takeaways (Song, Yeon& Lee, 2020). The following table shows the customer persona of the restaurant industry of Ireland.

Customer Segment


Number of Members


Middle aged consumers

These consumers are mostly working professionals engaged in different work habits and timings and hence these customers prefer online food ordering and they need timely and regular delivery.


Between 30-60 years

Young Adults

These customers are mostly millennials, students or working professionals and hence they have constraints of time and cost and they prefer to order online and require regular, punctual delivery of the food. 


Between 18-30 years


These consumers varied a different set of requirements since they prefer to order online or takeaway occasionally, they require good quality of service.


Between 1- 65 years

Business groups

These consumers are groups of people at the workplace and hence they prefer takeaway and online ordering at occasional intervals, they need timely delivery and high quality of service.


Between 25- 55 years

Table 4: Customer Persona of Restaurant Industry of Ireland
(Source: Created by the learner)

Section 3: Pain Points
The pain points are the reflections of the relationship of the customer personas with the existing problem that is being faced by the industry.

The healthcare industry of the UK has been faced with a problem as well as an opportunity for growth in the form of the COVID-19 pandemic that has severely disrupted the country. The country has been seeing a second wave of infections and hence the lockdown restrictions have been imposed again till the middle of February (BBC News, 2021). The number of people getting infected is at a high and hence the needs for the medical services are also high. The healthcare industry would be unable to provide services to such a high number of patients, however, the role of SMEs are indispensable in this scenario. The aged customers group would significantly require specific medical attention and regular medical services and they need this at the convenience of their homes. Thus, the scope of SMEs has widened in this regard as they would be able to provide personalized services to the consumers as they would have a wider reach and this is an opportunity in front of the SMEs in the healthcare industry of the UK (Lu et al, 2020).

The Irish restaurant industry is a portion of the wider F&B industry that has been massively impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown restrictions on the country have seen the closing of the F&B establishments for in-house dining services. The takeaway and online food ordering services are active and hence, the firms operating in this industry have been solely dependent on these services for being active. The role of SMEs is pertinent in this regard since the restaurants and such eateries are mostly SMEs and they operate with a varied type of customers with different requirements and they cater to these customers at different levels (Dube, Nhamo&Chikodzi, 2020). The lockdown has led to the people staying in and hence they prefer to order food online and hence the scope of online services has increased. This is especially true for the young adults and middle aged customers. They would prefer online services and hence the SMEs can work towards increasing their online presence and food delivery services to the customers.

Section 4: Solution Design
The key solution for the SMEs operating within the online healthcare industry of the UK is to come up with an application that will facilitate the process of carrying out their business operations. The application can be installed from the Google Playstore or i-store for Apple users.

The application will be designed considering the current covid-19 situation and show the latest updates regarding the same to create an enhanced awareness among the people of the UK. The application will integrate a wide range of healthcare products starting from medicines, sanitizers, gloves, masks, and so on. As soon as any individual installs the application he or she will be shown a page containing the various services being provided by the company, and proceeding further if an individual decides to order certain medicines or any specific product, he or she will be asked to register. This will ensure the authenticity of the users.

The application will display the different products being offered along with their prices for better understanding of the users. The users of the application can easily sign up or register with the application and have access to their needs without going out of their house. The application will have a payment gateway for the users to pay online, and avoid the use of cash on delivery, as it increases the chances of physical contact, which is strictly prohibited due to the covid-19 situation. Besides this, the person coming for the delivery of the essentials being ordered through the application will be monitored with their temperature and other symptoms related to covid-19 prior to the delivery. This will ensure utmost satisfaction for the company and the same will be informed to the users of the application as well.

The panel look for users
Users will come across the sign up page at first, and they could do the same by verifying their personal details such as name, residential area, exact address, e-mail id, password, reconfirmation passsword, contact number.

Once done, the users will be logged into the application, and they would be capable of searching the products as per their requirement. For better experience the application will comprise of filter option, which will make it feasible for the users to select from a variety of the options related to the product they are looking for.

Proceeding further, in the next step, once the user finishes his or her search for what they are looking for, they will simply click on that itemthey will be given the option to enter the exact address for the item to be delivered.

On completing the above step, the user will be provided with different payment options such as UPI, net-banking, debit card, credit card, and COD. From these provided options, the user can select only one mode of payment.

Once the payment is done, the pharmacy making use of such applications will receive the order and the same would be reflected to the user.

Proceeding further, the user will be provided with the option of tracking the order, which will comprise of the following layovers, order received, delivery associate assigned, order picked up, and on the delivery of the item, the user will receive a message, email, and pop-up in application of the order being delivered.

The panel look for the firm
Section 5: Key international considerations for implementation of the innovation overseas

The overseas market for the online take-outs, voucher card, home delivery and family pack services for customers in restaurant industry; Ireland has been selected.

Key considerations for the SMEs in Ireland restaurant industry

  • The consumers in Ireland are used to the online food delivery platforms prior to the pandemic situation. If the SMEs in restaurant industry tries to open or develop their market in this country then, understanding certain demographic needs would be profitable for them (Cleary, 2020).
  • Thus, targeting the young generations who will be more interested in trying the new menus at home would be more effective.
  • On the other hand, the menu in these companies should include a combination of local food cuisines and the internal food tastes for the consumers.
  • On the other hand, for developing online promotional channels for the SMEs in this industry, social media platforms would be most effective one; since the Ireland consumers are active in social media majorly (Keeble et al., 2020).
  • The market competition is another concern for the small and medium companies in the restaurant industry in Ireland. As known, the restaurant industry in this market is string with different types and innovative food and dining services (Mara &Ntimane, 2020). Thus, the market competition will be high in this market and SMEs will need to compete with big restaurant and supermarket chains.

Minor modifications in the solution provided for SMEs in Ireland restaurant industry
SMEs in the restaurant industry that wants to develop their online food delivery and other services should operate through the mobile app by adding a segment for information regarding the raw material purchased by the companies. This is connected with the fact that while purchasing for the family pack types of product from the companies, consumers could ask for the quality and hygiene of the ingredients provided for making recipes. This type of service feature and information portal in the online app of the companies will help them to earn good brand reputation.

Alternative solution for the SMEs
The online restaurant service application of the small and medium sized businesses in Ireland should include some of the features that will help them increase their consumer base. In this regard, consumer-centric services should be developed. In this regard, the mobile payment option should be effective and necessary in the application. Additionally, those SMEs who are capable in delivering food products in certain areas near to their kitchen may include the drone delivery options. Obviously, this is a temporary solution and service feature for reducing the pressure for allocating more people for home deliveries in high alert areas.

On completion of the report, it can be derived that the covid-19 situation has not only contributed in disruption of business, but it has also created certain solid opportunities for the SMEs to shift their business on the e-commerce platforms and expand their reach to a wider segment of audience. The online delivery application will play a vital role for the health sector of the UK and the restaurant industry of the Ireland to carry out their business operations in an effective manner. The only difference will be in the industry, the application to be used by the SMEs operating in the healthcare services of the UK will provide medications, sanitizers, masks, and so on, whereas, the same application can be re-modified by the SMEs in the restaurant industry of the Ireland to provide online food delivery services.The modification of the proposed innovation is an absolute necessity, as the customer segment of both industries will be different from one another.The product display within the application being proposed for the SMEs in restaurant industry of Ireland will offer food delivery and medicines or essentials for the SMEs in online health service industry of the UK.

BBC News. (2021). Covid: What are the UK's lockdown rules and when will they end. BBC News. Retrieved 23 January 2021, from

Choosing an online healthcare service | Care Quality Commission. (2021).Retrieved 23 January 2021, from

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Díaz-Puche, M., Fernández-Miguélez, S. M., Campos-Soria, J. A., &Fernández-Gámez, M. A. (2020). Multilevel assessment of restaurant profitability: Evidence with European data. Data in brief, 30, 105426.

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