The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

erdfTake your business to the next level by joining the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth. Develop your leadership skills and build a targeted growth strategy for your own business in the company of other ambitious business leaders.

The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth aims to support SMEs to grow by increasing their turnover and creating jobs within Coventry and Warwickshire and Greater Birmingham and Solihull. It is free of charge and offers:

  • Workshops taught by experts in SME leaderships and management.
  • One-to-one support to help you tackle your business challenges.
  • Networking with other early-stage business owners from the Midlands.
  • SME case studies from business leaders talking about their growth journey.
  • Guidance through the various external finance options available to you.
  • The opportunity to pitch your growth strategy to external finance experts.
  • Time to explore the strategic growth opportunities for your business.

Apply Now

For further enquires, or to learn more about the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth contact Christian Byron: 0121 204 3225,


  • The programme is suitable for businesses that are in their early-stage with identifiable growth potential
  • The applicant (you) should be the founder or the CEO of the business, and be the person who is responsible for driving the growth of the business
  • Your business must have an operations address in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull or Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area
  • Your business needs to have been trading for at least 12 months and employ one FTE (this can be yourself)
  • Your business needs to be an SME as defined by HMRC and meet the De Minimis state aid criteria – received no more than 200,000 euro state aid in the last 36 months
  • Participants need to make a significant commitment of time and effort to engage with the opportunities provided and are required to attend all workshops.

The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is fully funded jointly by Aston University and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Download and complete the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth application form

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Applications close: 25th October | Interview date: 6th November

Planned Schedule Cohort 6
Workshop Date  Time 
Introduction to Your Network Wednesday 13th November 2019  15:00 - 18:30 
Growth & Goals Wednesday 27th November 2019  12:30 - 18:30 
Opportunities and Innovations Wednesday 11th December 2019  12:30 - 18:30 
Pre - Finance Wednesday 8th January 2020  13:00 - 16:00 or 16:30 - 19:30 
Finance for the Business leader Wednesday 15th January 2020  12:30 - 18:30 
Leadership Wednesday 29th January 2020  12:30 - 18:30 
Sustainable Business Wednesday 5th February 2020  13:00 - 16:00  or 16:30 - 19:30 
Marketing Strategies Wednesday 12th February 2020  12:30 - 18:30 
Culture and People Wednesday 26th February 2020  12:30 - 18:30 
Cashflow Wednesday 4th March 2020  13:00 - 16:00 or 16:30 - 19:30 
Operations and Processes Wednesday 18th March 2020  12:30 - 18:30 
Options for External Finance Wednesday 1st April 2020  12:30 - 18:30 
Presenting your Growth Strategy Wednesday 22nd April 2020  10:00 - 18:30 
Implementation Workshop Wednesday 10th June 2020  Generally 14:00 - 18:00 
Please note: All dates and times are subject to change. A final list will be shared with shortlisted participants at the appropriate time.
Download our brochure.

Key Programme Dates

  • Applications closing date: October 25th
  • Interview date: November 6th (Further details regarding the interview process will be provided to successful applicants).
  • First workshop: November 13th