Published on 25/03/2020


  • Aston Business School’s top academics advise business leaders and entrepreneurs on ways of dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak in a number of podcasts
  • The special ‘Aston means business’ podcast series will give a voice to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) handling the ongoing impact of the global pandemic
  • The first podcast in the series looks at the ongoing implications of the outbreak on both SMEs and the wider economy

Aston Business School has launched the first in a special series of podcasts in which experts and small to medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) owners will provide top advice on dealing with the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The series, an extension of the ‘Aston means business’ monthly podcast, will give a voice to SMEs run by those who have undertaken programmes delivered by theAston Centre for Growth, as well as Aston Business School academics who are able to offer insights into some of the critical issues facing business owners and managers.

The first episode of the series features:

  • Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School, speaking about the impact that COVID-19 is having on SMEs and the implications for the wider economy in the long term.
  • Joe Fearn, owner of CircusMASH, an entertainment, training and community engagement company, discusses the way that he’s rapidly adapting his business model.
  • Lee Hopley, Deputy Director, Enterprise Research Centreat Aston Business School, discussing the government’s package of financial measures for SMEs.

Paula Whitehouse, Associate Dean at Aston Business School and Director of the Centre for Growth, said: “Over the last five years or more we’ve worked with thousands of businesses through our growth programmes.

“We realise that the COVID-19 crisis is a disaster for small businesses, and we wanted to do something to help give SMEs a voice and reassure them that they’re not alone.

“We hope that through these podcasts we can share some positive stories about how SMEs are dealing with COVID-19.”

The podcasts are hosted by Steve Dyson, a business journalist and former daily newspaper editor who has presented dozens of regional programmes for BBC’s HARDtalk series.

In response to the government guidelines on social distancing, all interviews are being recorded remotely.

The ‘Aston means business’ podcast can be listened to on Aston’s website at and is also downloadable from Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Deezer, Google Play Music and a number of other services.


Notes to editor

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, email

Be first to get the latest news, research and expert comment from Aston
by following us on Twitteror subscribing to our press list.

Need an expert for your story? Browse our expert directory

Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159

Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager

Alternatively, email

News Archive

Press Team

Media Resources

Brexit Directory

The Conversation

Expert Directory