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Aston University to deliver prestigious support programme for small businesses in the Midlands

Professor Mark Hart
Professor Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, will be leading a team of academics to deliver the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme starting in the Midlands in November 2011.

10,000 Small Businesses is designed to unlock the economic and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises operating in the United Kingdom. The programme is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that greater access to a combination of education and business support services best addresses barriers to growth. 10,000 Small Businesses is targeted at small businesses and social enterprises with clear ambitions to expand. The goal of the programme is to provide participants with tools and resources to help them lay the foundation for long-term sustainable growth and job creation in their communities. The 10,000 Small Businesses programme is funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

Participants on the programme will benefit from high quality, practically-focussed business and management education, delivered over 12 sessions lasting approximately 100 hours. The curriculum is designed specifically for the 10,000 Small Businesses programme by world-class international, national and local experts in entrepreneurial learning. The focus is on developing the practical skills and knowledge that small business and social enterprise leaders require as they grow their businesses. The curriculum sessions focus on action-based learning and are delivered by a combination of practitioners and experts who have extensive practical experience working with, and understanding the needs of small business leaders. Each session provides practical skills that can immediately be applied by participating businesses. During the course of the programme every small business owner develops a customised Growth Plan to direct their organisation’s business strategy and expansion.

A crucial feature of the programme is the unique networking and peer learning opportunities it helps to create. As leaders of small businesses from a wide range of industry sectors, programme participants offer complementary strengths, knowledge and skills to the collective group. The course is taught in a collaborative setting that builds on the real-world experiences of the participants and maximises opportunities to create and enhance valuable networks.

The programme is offered on a fully funded basis to a cohort of 25 to 30 small business and social enterprise leaders from the Midlands. Successful applicants will most importantly have the desire and drive to grow their businesses, create local employment and have scalable business models. The programme is not intended for start-up businesses, sole traders or businesses that are not seeking to grow.

Applications to 10,000 Small Businesses in the Midlands close on 5 October 2011. Application materials will be provided to all those attending preview events and can be requested by email from 10ksb@aston.ac.uk or by phoning 0121 204 3225.

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