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Aston Business School is working with the Small Business Charter to deliver a specialised government-funded programme for leaders of small businesses to survive and thrive in the coming months and post coronavirus. This new scheme comes as part of a £20m package the UK Government is providing to help small businesses in the long-term.

To aid business resilience and future growth in the current climate, the Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP) will create peer groups to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance.

Aston Business School was accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC) in June 2014, a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

The Government has made up to £30bn available to support economic recovery ahead of autumn and businesses can continue to draw upon a range of financial support during this challenging time, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants. The SBLP will help businesses to bounce back from the impact of coronavirus and prepare for any future disruption.

The practical syllabus provides business leaders with access to small business and management experts from Aston Business School. The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully-funded by the Government to enhance small business resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and develop their potential for future growth and productivity.

The short and focused programme will be delivered online through a structured course of eight 90-minute webinars over the course of 10 weeks and will provide the knowledge needed for businesses to tackle crisis situations. It will also give businesses the opportunity to strengthen their business network. Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance.

Anne Kiem, OBE, CEO of Chartered Association of Business Schools and Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, said: “As we continue to grapple with the coronavirus crisis it is also essential we look long-term to ensure small businesses are supported to build resilience, survival and growth. Business schools can provide the expertise and knowledge all business owners and directors need to continue to thrive in uncertain times.”

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully, said: “The strength of small businesses up and down the country will be vital as we begin to bounce back from coronavirus and rebuild our economy. The Small Business Leadership Programme will help to equip small business leaders with the leadership and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.” 

Paula Whitehouse, Associate Dean Enterprise at Aston Business School, said: “Aston Business School has a proven track record of working with SMEs in the Midlands to help them achieve high growth, and we are delighted to be part of the Small Business Charter consortium delivering this innovative national programme.

"Through our participation in the Small Business Leadership Programme, we will help SME owners to become more resilient, evaluate their business model and develop a plan to protect and grow their business through the turbulent times ahead.”

Kate Buckle
Article by Kate Buckle
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