Driving growth through Supply Chain Management

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

6 June 2013

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme discusses driving growth through better Supply Chain Management 
A conference hosted in Birmingham yesterday by the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme revealed that there have been a number of recent strategic initiatives from the corporate and public sector designed to increase the number of opportunities for small businesses in supply chains.  These initiatives include those providing financial support for small businesses to engage with confidence in supply chain opportunities, as well as those which commit the corporate sector to the development of a more diverse supply chain.

Developing greater transparency and simplicity in the tendering process for large private and public sector contracts is, however, only part of the story.  A number of speakers at the conference, including Andy Street, Managing Director, John Lewis and Chair, Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP, emphasised the importance of developing working relationships between large firms and their smaller suppliers and this in turn can provide key innovations for individual businesses and for the sector overall.

Robert Tate, Business in the Community, said: “By buying from SMEs, large businesses can help SMEs grow and create local jobs and sustainable communities while also benefiting from their creativity, growth and innovation. “This is why, working together with procurement professionals from leading large businesses, Business in the Community has developed The Access Pledge. By taking The Access Pledge, and working to make their business fair, transparent and open, large businesses are allowing SMEs to compete for their business on a level playing field."

The event, the second in a series of conferences for 10,000 Small Businesses alumni following the first that took place in London in April, also looked at the range of ways in which small businesses can drive growth through more efficient management of their own position in supply chains. There were a number of practical workshops throughout the day, led by each of the 10,000 Small Businesses delivery partners, which allowed participants to learn firsthand from practical case studies on how they can take immediate steps to become more competitive in their existing supply chains and position themselves for new opportunities.  The topics of these workshops ranged from developing a green supply chain, preparing for the public procurement process, enhancing the service offer alongside the supply of products and building strategic alliances with other small businesses in the supply chain.

Mark Hart, Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at Aston Business School and conference convener, said: “Opening up private and public sector supply chains for small businesses has been an important topic for many years now and while there has been much progress, many challenges still remain.  We designed this conference to provide our national alumni with an agenda for action in their businesses and to hear directly from the corporate sector how they can prepare to become suppliers for key national and international clients.  I am confident that the delegates will have left this conference better equipped to re-examine their supply chain strategies in the context of their business growth plans.” 

"I'm very pleased to endorse the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme alongside Aston and other universities, as it is clear the growth of small businesses is key to economic resurgence,” said Andy Street, (Chair LEP) Managing Director of John Lewis. “This programme is practical, focused and effective, and the results speak for themselves; it clearly adds to their growth potential."

10,000 Small Businesses UK, which is supported by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, is designed for the leaders of established small businesses and social enterprises 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. A progress report on the programme, entitled Stimulating Small Business Growth, was published in April, charting the growth and progress of the first 250 businesses to have completed the programme to date.

Aston Business School is now seeking up to thirty business owners to apply for the next cohort, due to start September 2013.  The deadline for applications is 28 June, 2013 - for details on how to apply please visit the 10,000 Small Businesses website: http://www1.aston.ac.uk/10ksb/ or telephone 0121 204 3225. 


For further media information please contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk 

For further information please contact Sophie Bullock, Goldman Sachs on  44 (0)207 774 4012 or 44 (0)7919 117728 or sophie.bullock@gs.com

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 June 2013 over 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.

10,000 Small Businesses UK Progress Report: http://www.goldmansachs.com/citizenship/10000-small-businesses/UK/news-and-events/10ksb-uk-progress-report.html