Aston University announces graduation of first Midlands cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme

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Aston University announces graduation of first Midlands cohort of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme

Aston University today announced the graduation of the first Midlands cohort of small business and social enterprise leaders from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme.

Classes for the second cohort have begun, and recruitment for the third cohort is now in progress.

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.

Graduates received their certificates at a dinner in Birmingham yesterday evening. Businesses in the first 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 West Midlands has a large number of entrepreneurs across a range of business sectors including social enterprises, and we are proud that some of the best in the region are here graduating today.  We are anticipating that they will now move quickly forward with their business growth plans and we have high hopes that they will deliver much-needed additional wealth and jobs for this area.” 

“Supporting entrepreneurs is vital to driving 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. “The 10,000 Small Businesses programme aims to assist these entrepreneurs to maximize their potential and create jobs in the region.”

The graduates in the inaugural Midlands class include the following:

  • Habil Kapasi is founder of Jivaji Auto Factors Ltd, which sells car spares and accessories. Habil reports that the programme has enabled him to take a more strategic view of his business, for example in relation to suppliers, products and stock.

  • Nick Morgan is co-founder of Big Cat Group, an events and marketing company founded in 2000.  For Nick, participating in the programme has resulted in significant changes in his strategy for growing the business.

Applications are currently open for the third cohort of the programme in the Midlands, which will take place between October 2012 and February 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 third cohort are taking place from April to June 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 3225or from the 10,000 Small Business webpages.