The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth supports early stage business leaders to achieve sustainable growth through a series of workshops, one-to-one support and networking.
The programme, fully funded by Aston University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) will run from January to June 2017. Open to SMEs and Social Enterprises, 28 business leaders from a range of sectors will complete 9 one-day workshops, sharing their experiences and strategies and building a supportive network. In addition, all participants will be supported throughout the programme by a dedicated, experienced business mentor to tackle any issues or challenges SMEs face as they grow.
The practical programme is free, you start working on your business straight away and will finish the programme with a growth strategy that you have written for your own business that will provide you with an action plan to achieve your growth goals.
All of the 2015 participants surveyed after completing the programme are anticipating significant growth in turnover with 60% expecting turnover growth in excess of 200% and 48% also projecting employee numbers to grow in excess of 200% by 2018. Here’s some case studies from previous participants.
To be eligible for the programme, businesses must:
- have an operational base in the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire or Greater Birmingham and Solihull, LEP regions
- be trading for 12 months or more (the programme is not suitable for start-ups)
- have at least one FTE employee
- be scalable and have potential and motivation to grow
- be an SME as defined by HMRC and meet the De Minimis State Aid Criteria
- The applicant must be the founder or CEO of the business responsible for driving the growth strategy