Aston University partners with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme as it expands to the Midlands

Aston Business School
Aston Business School

15 September 2011

Aston University today announced its partnership with the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme which is expanding to the Midlands. The initiative, 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 business education and support services to small businesses and social enterprises in the region.

Professor Mark Hart, Aston University, commented: “Entrepreneurship does not impact an economy simply through higher numbers of entrepreneurs. It is important to consider the impact small businesses have on economic growth, innovation and internationalization. Unlocking the entrepreneurial potential of small businesses in the Midlands is a priority in the immediate future. Are these small businesses creating jobs?  Are they building innovative and competitive global companies?  These are the important questions to ask and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme is providing an opportunity to develop these questions into individual growth plans for small businesses and their owners in the Midlands”.

Stephen Hughes, CEO Birmingham City Council, said: “The Midlands has a proud tradition of innovation and enterprise, and dynamic small businesses are needed now more than ever to help create jobs.  The high quality, targeted support provided by 10,000 Small Businesses could not be more welcome, and is a real boost for our local economy.”

“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 intensive sessions. Throughout these sessions each participant will build a business growth plan to define and shape their growth strategy.

Business Support Services: In conjunction the business education, participants will receive a range of business support services based on the specific needs of the participants to support the development 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 will be experienced leaders of small businesses or social enterprises from a diverse range of industry sectors across the region, and will 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.

A number of preview events will be taking place in September. 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 to network.

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 through the 10,000 Small Businesses webpages.

Applications to 10,000 Small Businesses in the Midlands close on 5 October 2011 and successful applicants will be interviewed in Birmingham on 31 October 2011. The programme will run between November 2011 and March 2012.

Notes to the Editors

  1. 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.

  2. 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), who are coordinating curriculum development and programme expansion at the national level, Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and Aston University Business School.

  3. 10,000 Small Businesses in the UK is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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. 

Media contact: David Farrow, d.farrow@aston.ac.uk, 0121 204 4887