The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands is led by Mark Hart who is Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School. A 2014 recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, he has played a national role in promoting enterprise skills and supporting entrepreneurs. He is also Deputy Director of the national Enterprise Research Centre which is jointly hosted by Aston University and the University of Warwick and has as its mission to understand the drivers of small business growth. It is funded jointly by the ESRC, BIS, BBA and the TSB.
Over the last 35 years, Professor Hart has worked and published extensively in the areas of entrepreneurship, enterprise and small business development and policy. He jointly manages the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) in the UKand advises a number of UK Government Departments and the Devolved Administrations on enterprise issues. His, and Aston Business School’s, exceptional dedication to helping improve links with and support the small business community, were recognised earlier this year was Aston was one of only three Schools in the UK to be awarded the Small Business Charter Gold Award.
His work on High-Growth Firms (HGFs) at Aston has been influential in shaping policy discussions and actions in the UK and he is currently working for NESTA and the OECD on a range of follow-up projects. He has undertaken numerous evaluation studies of business support products and services in the UK and Ireland.