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Graduation of fifth Midlands cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme which is praised as a ‘shining example’ by Universities Minister David Willetts

Goldman Sachs Graduation

23 April 2014

Aston University is proud to announce the graduation of the fifth Midlands cohort of small business and social enterprise leaders from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme. Classes for the sixth cohort began in March and recruitment for the seventh cohort has now started.

Universities Minister, David Willetts, recently praised the partnership between the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme and Aston University as a ‘shining example’ of how leading universities can benefit small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and drive economic growth, in his keynote speech at the Universities UK Conference on 3rd April, 2014. 

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 received their certificates at a dinner in Birmingham on 9th April. Businesses in the fifth cohort represented a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, sports, social care, and business services. They ranged in size from approximately £160,000 in turnover to over £9 million. They were recruited from across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Stratford-upon-Avon, Hereford, Daventry and as far afield as Lincolnshire and Somerset. 

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 represent a major success story for small businesses in the Midlands as they embark upon the next stage of their growth. Aston Business School has supported the development of their business opportunities, projected to deliver significant additional jobs, profitable revenues and household incomes for local communities across the region in the next 3 years. These participants will be added to our growing network of over 165 small business owners and social enterprise leaders who are playing an important role in the economic growth of this region.” 

The graduates in the fifth Midlands class include the following:

Maria Clack, Managing Director of family business Alderminster Electrics, who deliver electrical services and solar pv panel installations in south Warwickshire and the Cotswolds.  Since joining the programme Alderminster Electrics has  formulated its vision for future growth, increased the team from 7 to 9, gained accreditation for additional areas of renewable technologies, rebranded as a the Alderminster Group offering both electrical and all renewable technology solutions and has plans to move into the commercial sector. 

Tim Landreth, Director of The Natural Childcare Company Limited, offers Childcare and more at two centres in and around Solihull. The Company had plans in place for growth when it joined the programme with the opening of a second nursery and the relocation of the company's first site.

Talking about his experience Tim Landreth said: "10,000 Small Businesses enabled me to focus on my role in the business and precisely what it is that my clients, staff, investors and lenders need from the business. The support of the programme tutors and fellow cohort members has been tremendous, with many new ideas and perspectives being freely offered to each other in a very open way, all with the aim of growth. There is no doubt that my business will be stronger and more prepared for the future as a result of my involvement." 

Applications are currently open for the seventh cohort of the programme in the Midlands, which will take place between September 2014 and February 2015. 

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 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 seventh cohort are taking place in May and June 2014. 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, as well as hearing from past participants about their experience. 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 following link: www.10ksb.aston.ac.uk 

Notes to Editors

10,000 Small Businesses UK

10,000 Small Businesses 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 Midlands in autumn 2011 and London in early 2012. Programme partners include Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Aston University Business School and University College London. 

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 and jointly hosts the national Enterprise Research Centre with Warwick University. 

Media contact:

David Farrow

d.farrow@aston.ac.uk

0121 204 4887