On Friday 20 October, SME leaders are invited to the Sandwell Business Solutions Centre on Spon Lane for an opportunity to meet the team who run the programme, network with other local business leaders and ask any questions you might have about the programme or the application process.
Funded by Aston University and the European Regional Development Fund, the free Aston Programme for Small Business Growth helps leaders of SMEs build targeted growth strategies to expand and develop their businesses. It aims to support small enterprises in the region, boosting the local economy by increasing turnover and creating jobs.
The programme works with businesses from a wide range of sectors, from software developers to accountants, recruitment consultancies to eateries. The six-month programme is based around ten core workshops covering topics such as leadership, marketing strategies, operations and processes, external finance and goal setting, all with a strong focus on practical content and support tailored specifically to each participant’s business situation. There are also a number of shorter workshops, some bespoke, according to the needs of the cohort, as well as one-to-one mentoring, networking, case studies, finance advice and pitching opportunities.
Sian Kelly, director of Inform Accounting completed the programme in 2016 and said: “I would definitely recommend it to other small businesses as it is great for networking and provides the tools to develop a strategy for growth specific to your business.”
Another previous participant, Petra Gale, managing director of Xceeda Group, said: “My mentor was really useful as she helped me to pull together the strategic objectives for the business. The programme has helped us to increase our turnover, to move into international markets and to focus on key market segments that we can expand into.”
The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is for leaders of early stage SMEs which have an operational base in the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull, or The Marches 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 programme will run every six months until 2019. The deadline for applications for the January 2018 cohort is Wednesday 25 October 2017, with interviews taking place on Wednesday 29 November 2017.
For more details about the information session, as well as others in Coventry, Telford and Birmingham, go the event page in our calendar.
To download an application form for the programme, visit the website. Alternatively, you can email email@example.com 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.