Welcome

In response to the coronavirus programme delivery plans may have changed, if you are interested, please contact us via email: centreforgrowth@aston.ac.uk and we will provide you with the most updated information.

A new Leading to Grow Programme being delivered by business schools across England has been launched to help support small businesses grow, innovate and increase productivity through adoption of digital and other relevant new technologies.

Aston Business School and University of Birmingham Business School are each part of a consortium of Small Business Charter accredited business schools that are together delivering the Programme.

Through the local support of Aston Centre for Growth and University of Birmingham Enterprise, experienced advisors will work with business owners to enable them to explore technologies suited to their business goals, and to develop the management capabilities needed to implement them. Participation is free to eligible ‘microbusinesses’ 

The Leading to Grow Programme benefits:

  • Develop your management capabilities to introduce digital and other relevant new technologies into your business
  • Help you to analyse the costs and benefits so that you can make informed decisions about the right technology for your business
  • Support you to maximise the benefits of technology in order to increase productivity and performance of your business
  • Help you to encourage innovation and improve employee engagement within your business
  • Create insights and knowledge to support other businesses like yours in future

Programme Features

  • A half-day workshop led by small business experts at a local business school.
  • Tailored support and expertise specific to businesses of your size
  • A network of small business leaders in your area focused on growth
  • A peer-learning environment and input from successful business leaders based in your region
  • An impartial overview of new technologies that can help you to grow your business
  • The opportunity to receive further one-to-one tailored support.

Eligibility Criteria

To join the Leading to Grow Programme, your business must:

  • Be a formally registered business (i.e. the business must have a VAT number, or PAYE number, or Companies house registration) and have a trading history of three years or more
  • Employ between 1 and 9 people 
  • Not have participated on any other business school programme targeted at raising productivity within the last 12 months

NB: social enterprises are eligible so long as there is demonstrable traded income.


Please contact Centre for Growth if you wish to discuss about this programme further.

E: centreforgrowth@aston.ac.uk
T: 0121 204 3225

Background on the Programme

National trial

Participants on the programme will be part of an important national trial. All participants will attend a half-day workshop led by small business experts at a local business school. As part of the trial, 50% of the businesses will be selected at random to receive one-to-one mentoring support with an Entrepreneur-In-Residence. The impact of the programme on all participating businesses will be evaluated to inform the development of future programmes.

The Small Business Charter and partner business schools

The Small Business Charter is a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting small businesses, student enterprise, and the local economy.

The Leading to Grow Programme workshops and training will be provided by experts at 15 business schools that have been accredited by the Small Business Charter.