10,000 Small Businesses programme grows

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25 November 2011 

Aston University launches first cohort of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands and starts recruiting for second class.

Aston University announced the launch of the first cohort of small business and social enterprise leaders for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands. Recruitment for the second cohort has also started, with preview events taking place in the Midlands this and next month.

The programme, already successfully established in Yorkshire and the North West, is designed to boost local economic growth and job creation through providing a combination of targeted, high quality, practical business education and support services to small businesses and social enterprises.

Businesses in the first cohort represent a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, business services, technology, retail and education. They range in size from approximately £200,000 in turnover to over £3 million. They have been recruited from across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Coventry, Walsall, Solihull and Leicester.

Applications are currently open for the second cohort of the 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands, which will begin in spring 2012. Information about attending a preview event and how to apply can be obtained by email from 10ksb@aston.ac.uk, by phoning 0121 204 3225 or on the Aston Business School website.

Julia King, Vice Chancellor of Aston University, commented "Aston University is at the forefront of understanding and encouraging entrepreneurial behaviour. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Goldman Sachs to bring the 10,000 Small Businesses programme to the Midlands. We can't wait to see the first class of entrepreneurs graduate, but most of all we look forward to seeing each of their businesses build into something bigger, at the same time creating more jobs."

“Encouraging and supporting small firms is essential to the growth of the UK economy," said Michael Sherwood, Vice Chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs International. "We are very excited that the 10,000 Small Businesses programme is expanding to the Midlands and we look forward to working with Aston University and our other local and national partners to provide small businesses and social enterprises across the region with the resources to help them grow and create jobs."

The programme is designed for the leaders of small businesses and social enterprises who are seeking to grow their business. It is open to businesses from across the Midlands and participation is by application to Aston Business School. Successful candidates will benefit from the following:

Business and Management Education: Participants will receive an intensive, practically focussed business education developed specifically for experienced small business leaders. Delivered by Aston Business School in partnership with Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, the business education lasts approximately 100 hours over 12 sessions. Throughout these sessions each participant will build a business growth plan to define their growth strategy and how it will be executed.

Business Support Services: In conjunction with the business education, participants will receive a range of business support services based on the specific needs of the participants to support the development and execution of their growth plan. This includes guidance from experienced business advisors, specialist workshops and mentoring.

Networking and Peer Learning: A crucial feature of the programme is the unique networking and peer learning opportunities it creates. All participants are experienced leaders of small businesses or social enterprises from a diverse range of industry sectors across the region, and bring complementary strengths, knowledge and skills to the 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.

Preview events for the second cohort are taking place in November and December 2011. This will provide an opportunity for leaders of small businesses and social enterprises in the Midlands to learn more about the 10,000 Small Businesses programme and how to apply.

Further information on the preview events and application materials for the programme can be obtained by email from 10ksb@aston.ac.uk, by phoning 0121 204 3225 or from the 10,000 Small Businesses website.

For more information please contact David Farrow, Executive Director of Marketing Strategy & Communications, by email or phone on 0121 204 4887

Notes to Editors

10,000 Small Businesses UK

10,000 Small Businesses in the UK is an initiative to unlock the growth and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises across the United Kingdom through providing the resources they need to grow, including greater access to business education and business support services. It is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that a combination of education and support services best addresses the barriers to growth for small businesses.

The programme is based on an innovative and successful approach to supporting entrepreneurs, as developed through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and the 10,000 Small Businesses programme launched in the United States in 2009. A programme tailored specifically for the UK market was brought to Yorkshire in 2010 and then to the North West of England in 2011. The programme is now expanding to the Midlands. Programme partners include Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and Aston University Business School.

10,000 Small Businesses in the UK is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

Aston Business School, Aston University is renowned for the quality of its innovative learning and teaching, world leading research and for having a friendly and supportive culture. The School has strong business links, and offers life-transforming experiences that make a real difference to organisations, economies and the global society. Aston Business School is committed to helping small businesses realise their potential through dedicated services which are specifically tailored to meet their needs. The School also delivers cutting edge entrepreneurial research (especially on high growth firms) and is home to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK project.

Saïd Business School, University of Oxford in one of the most entrepreneurial business schools in the UK, with a reputation for innovative business education. The School combines the highest standards of academic rigour with a practical understanding of business and wealth creation. It incorporates a cutting edge social entrepreneurship research centre with extensive experience working with social entrepreneurs and innovators.