• New government scheme helps small businesses grow

    By Ryan Barnett
    Political Correspondent

    Ryan is a Economic Policy Adviser at IPSE

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    A new scheme to help 700 micro-businesses boost their productivity has been launched by the government.

    The scheme, delivered through the Small Business Charter, is designed to tackle the entrenched problem of productivity for the UK’s economy, and to help small businesses grow.

    Focussing on the use of tech to expand, fifteen of the UK’s top business schools will now provide expertise via mentoring and masterclasses to small businesses. These will be provided across London, the Midlands, Manchester and Newcastle.

    The Leading to Grow programme, delivered through the Business Basics Programme (run by BEIS and Innovate UK) forms part of a £9 million package intended to help small businesses. Businesses which employ up to nine people can access workshops on improving profitability and efficiency through existing technologies.

    As a former small business owner, I know how important it is to harness technology.

    Small businesses can apply to be part of this programme via smallbusinesscharter.org or through the business schools directly (listed below).

    Alasdair Hutchison, policy development manager at IPSE, said: “Micro-businesses including the self-employed are the backbone of the UK’s economy. There are now nearly 5 million self-employed in the UK and it’s great that this funding has been secured to help them improve their productivity and realise their potential.

    “Hopefully after the election, the next government will seize the opportunity provided by the innovation and expertise of freelancers across the country with more policies to support their businesses.”

    Kelly Tolhurst, small business minister, said: “This Government is determined to make the UK the best place in the world to work and grow a business. 

    “As a former small business owner, I know how important it is to harness technology in making your business more productive, so I’m pleased to see this Small Business Charter benefitting from a share of our £2 million Business Basics Fund.

    “Helping small and micro-businesses make better use of technology will enable them to seize new opportunities, boost productivity and scale up in new markets as we look to leave the EU.”

    Participating business schools

    East and West Midlands
    Aston Business School, Birmingham Business School, Coventry Business School, Leicester Castle Business School, Nottingham Business School, Staffordshire Business School and University of Leicester School of Business.

    South and West Yorkshire
    Leeds Business School, Sheffield Business School and Sheffield University Management School.

    Greater Manchester and the North East
    Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Salford Business School and Newcastle Business School.

    London and the South East
    Guildhall School of Business & Law and Kingston Business School.

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