Free business growth programme for SMEs

Aston logoApplications are now open for the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth, which helps leaders of SMEs build targeted growth strategies to expand and develop their businesses.

Run by Aston University and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the free programme aims to support small enterprises in the region, boosting the local economy by increasing turnover and creating jobs.

Each year the programme works with around 28 SME and social enterprise leaders from a wide range of sectors, from software developers to accountants, recruitment consultancies to eateries. The six month programme involves workshops, one-to-one mentoring, networking, case studies, finance advice and pitching opportunities, with a strong focus on practical content, and support tailored specifically to each participant’s business situation.

Nate Sheridan is Director of Citizen Click CIC and completed in the programme in 2016. He said of his experience: “I have taken a step back to look at the organisation as a whole, seeing the bigger picture helps me to keep it driving forward. It was not just my business knowledge that improved but also my self-confidence and determination in reaching my growth targets.”

The programme is for leaders of early stage SMEs which have an operational base in the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire or Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP regions. The business must have been trading for at least 12 months, have at least one full time employee and have the potential to grow.

The deadline for applications is June 2017, with interviews taking place in July before the programme begins in September. For more information or to download an application, visit the website. You can also email or call 0121 204 3225.

Think Sandwell also offers a wide range of advice and guidance to help you grow your business. For details, visit our Business Services pages.