10,000 Small Businesses progress report

Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses recruitment in the West Midlands

23 April 2013

Report produced by leading academic institutions Saïd Business School, Aston Business School, Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and UCL.
Insight from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme demonstrates model for unlocking small business growth potential.

A new report produced by five leading academic institutions examining the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme reveals how small businesses could be the key to getting the UK economy back on its feet - if its high growth small businesses can realize their full potential and catch up with their international counterparts.

The report, launched today (April 23rd), entitled Stimulating Small Business Growth, charts the rise of the first 250 businesses to have completed the intensive 4 month Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme.

Data collected independently from programme alumni, and published in the progress report, indicates that the intervention is helping participants grow jobs and turnover.

Of those small businesses surveyed:

  • 77% reported that they were employing more people than 12 months previously
  • 66% had increased their turnover year-on-year
  • 53% had increased profitability
  • 92% of the participants were more confident in their ability to grow their business


The report highlights that the programme is creating regional and national networks of ambitious business owners who provide support to one another - increasing confidence, morale and resilience and creating new business opportunities.  This community now numbers almost 500 entrepreneurs in four regions across the UK (Yorkshire, North West, Midlands, London).  Over half of participants have found new clients for their businesses through this community.

Mark Hart, co-author of the report and Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Aston Business School, said: “Small businesses are not only big job creators, they are critical to driving long term economic growth.  The 10,000 Small Businesses alumni are showing what can be done - against a backdrop of little growth in the UK economy, they are delivering additional jobs and revenue, and demonstrating the value of business support based on peer learning and communities of regional and national entrepreneurs.”

The initiative, which is supported by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, is designed for the leaders of established small businesses who have the appetite and potential to grow their enterprises. Participants benefit from a high quality, comprehensive package of support and expertise to help them take their businesses to the next level.

Paul Little, MD of Birmingham based J Coen Ltd, who was involved in the programme, said: “When Coen Ltd embarked on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme, we thought we had a plan. Our post programme plan far exceeded our imagination and we are delivering to it. The programme stretched us throughout our business including business development, systems & processes and most significantly our innovation. From our roots as a plastering business, we are now pioneering green and sustainable technology in the construction sector. While discussing opportunities with fellow participant Rob Mannion and what his company RNF Digital Innovation Ltd. were doing, a eureka moment occurred and we decided to partner. Together we developed our subcontractor management tool. It allows people working for us to invoice us using their mobile devices giving them an easy to use transparent process and us sector leading management control.”

For more information contact:

Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk

Notes to Editors

About 10,000 Small Businesses UK

The 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme is a partnership between Goldman Sachs, the Goldman Sachs Foundation and five leading UK academic institutions: Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), Aston Business School, Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and UCL.  The programme is designed specifically for the leaders of established small businesses who are seeking to grow their enterprises.

It was first piloted in Yorkshire in 2010 and as of April 2013 almost 500 small business leaders across the country have participated, with approximately 250 new participants joining the programme each year.

Participation is by competitive entry and is fully funded by each university partner for successful candidates. Through its investment in these small business leaders 10,000 Small Businesses UK aims to stimulate employment creation and economic growth.