Minister praises Business Growth Programme

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme

4 April 2014

Universities Minister, David Willetts, has praised the partnership between the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme and Aston University as a ‘shining example’ of how leading universities can benefit small and medium size enterprises (SME’s) and drive economic growth.

The 10,000 Small Businesses programme, delivered for the Midlands region by Aston Business School, unlocks the economic and growth potential of SMEs and social enterprises. 

The innovative 5-month management programme is fully funded for successful applicants and is designed for the leaders of small businesses and social enterprises with high growth potential. All participants have clear business ambitions to expand their businesses and create jobs, while no prior Higher Education experience is necessary to participate. 

The programme is delivered with other leading universities and business schools across the country – Saïd Business School, University of Oxford; UCL; Leeds University Business School; and Manchester Metropolitan University Business School. 

Discussing the Government’s work to support business schools that prioritise supporting small businesses, Willetts, speaking at the Universities UK conference (April 3rd) said:   

“The Goldman Sachs "10,000 Small Businesses" scheme is already a shining example. Under this scheme five of our top business schools including Aston and Saïd have worked with 700 small businesses to unlock their full potential. These are small businesses in every sector and on every street corner. They pick people and business ideas with real potential to benefit from five months of management training. And often these are people who wouldn't have dreamed of signing up for an MBA, or even walking into a university. Under the careful mentoring of these business schools they learn to think bigger. Local businesses become national and then international. And more than three-quarters of these firms create more jobs after participating. This is the future we want for small businesses. And it is right that universities should drive that.”

The Goldman Sachs "10,000 Small Businesses" scheme is already a shining example

Participating businesses on the 10,000 Small Businesses programme are provided with practical tools and resources to help them lay the foundation for long term sustainable growth and job creation in their businesses. This support includes attendance of twelve high quality, practically-focussed business and management education modules, delivered by Aston Business School, plus a range of other tailor-made services including specialist workshops, networking opportunities with other like-minded businesses and one to one business support. 

To date a total of 167business leaders have already completed or are currently on the Midlands programme. Aston Business School  is now seeking up to 30 business owners or leaders of social enterprises to apply for its next cohort, which is due to start in September 2014 (deadline for applications is Friday June 27th, 2014).  

For further information on the programme along with full details of how to apply, or to register for a preview event please visit our website:  Alternatively, if you would like additional information about the programme and how it can benefit your business please feel free to contact the programme team on email at [email protected] or by telephoning 0121 204 3225.


For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or [email protected] 

Notes to Editors 

1.  10,000 Small Businesses in the UK is an initiative to unlock the growth and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises across the United Kingdom through providing the resources they need to grow, including greater access to business education and business support services. It is based on the broadly held view of leading experts that a combination of education and support services best addresses the barriers to growth for small businesses.

2.  The programme is based on an innovative and successful approach to supporting entrepreneurs, as developed through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative and the 10,000 Small Businesses programme launched in the United States in 2009. A programme tailored specifically for the UK market was brought to Yorkshire in 2010 and then to the North West of England in 2011, the Midlands in autumn 2011 and London in early 2012. Programme partners include Saïd Business School (University of Oxford), Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Aston University Business School and University College London.

 3.  10,000 Small Businesses in the UK is funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation.

4. Aston Business School, Aston University is renowned for the quality of its innovative learning and teaching, world leading research and for having a friendly and supportive culture. The School has strong business links, and offers life-transforming experiences that make a real difference to organisations, economies and the global society. Aston Business School is committed to helping small businesses realise their potential through dedicated services which are specifically tailored to meet their needs. The School also delivers cutting edge entrepreneurial research (especially on high growth firms) and is home to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor UK project.