Graduation of second Midlands cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme

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20 September 2012

Aston University today announced the graduation of the second Midlands cohort of small business and social enterprise leaders from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme. Classes for the third cohort begin in October, and recruitment for the fourth cohort has now started.

The programme, which also operates in Yorkshire, the North West and London, 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 from across the Midlands region.

Participants will receive their certificates at a dinner in Birmingham this evening. Businesses in the second cohort represented a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, business services, technology, retail and education. They ranged in size from approximately £200,000 in turnover to over £3 million. They were recruited from across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Coventry, Walsall, Solihull and Leicester.

Professor Mark Hart
from Aston Business School, a globally recognised expert in entrepreneurship and small business performance, is the academic lead for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands. He stated:  “The participants graduating today represent a major success story for small businesses in the Midlands as they embark upon the next stage of their growth in some of the worst trading conditions for many decades.  Aston Business School has supported the development of their business opportunities, projected to deliver additional jobs and incomes for local communities across the region in the next 3 years.  These participants will be added to our growing network of small business owners and social enterprise leaders set to play an important role in the economic recovery of this region.”

“Congratulations to everyone for having completed the programme. This achievement reflects the energy, determination and ambition you all bring to growing your business”, said Michelle Pinggera, Chief of Staff for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Goldman Sachs. “With a total of fifty-five participants to date across the region, the continued success of the programme is great testament to the talent and entrepreneurial spirit of the Midlands.”
The graduates in the second Midlands class include the following:

Alan Norton is Operations Director of Indestructible Paint Limited, a family firm based in Sparkhill, Birmingham, which manufactures specialist coatings for aerospace and other industries.  Since joining the programme Indestructible Paint has expanded its team with a new Sales Manager, become involved in two technical development projects supported by the Technology Strategy Board, and identified key growth markets for its products in China and Germany.

Stephanie Chamberlain owns Magic Milestones, a project delivery specialist based in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter.  Magic Milestones is set to re-shape the recruitment market with a new high tech solution for recruiting successful project teams, and since coming on the programme has been awarded Top Digital Agency in the West Midlands 2012 by New Media Age.

Applications are currently open for the fourth cohort of the programme in the Midlands, which will take place between March and July 2013.

The programme is designed to provide high quality, practical and focused support 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:
  • a structured, practical learning experience focused on the challenges faced by growing small businesses
  • multiple sources of high quality advice and guidance as they develop a customised growth plan to serve as the roadmap for the business’s future growth
  • joining a group of 25 to 30 selected small business leaders who form a trusted network that provides peer-to-peer support, challenge and guidance to one another in an open, constructive and dynamic learning environment
  • the opportunity to join a growing network of business leaders from across the UK
Preview events for the fourth cohort are taking place from September to December 2012. 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