Wanted: Small businesses keen on a bigger future

Growth Vouchers Programme

10 November 2014

Aston Business School is pleased to announce that applications for the Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme are now open for small business owners who are passionate about growing their business. 

Thousands of enterprises have already benefited from strategic support from business schools. This new roll out of the Government’s Growth Vouchers Programme, through six leading business schools holding the Small Business Charter, will allow small businesses to access world class business support from leading university institutions. 

Businesses can apply via the online application portal www.sbcgrowthvouchers.co.uk, giving them the opportunity to take part in a tailored Growth Voucher programme. This initiative offers £2,000 of Government match funding to small businesses, providing them with access to high quality leadership and management training. 

Aston Business School holds Gold Award status within the Small Business Charter. The School received the Award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to support enterprise activity among its student population and its innovative approach towards driving growth in SMEs across the Midlands. 

Teaming up with the Government’s Growth Vouchers programme is yet another way in which Aston Business School is helping to support the small business community. 

Eligible businesses can apply for a £2,000 voucher to match fund the cost of strategic advice in the following areas:

  • Review of growth opportunity – competitor analysis tools
  • Cash flow and general financial management
  • Marketing strategies for small business
  • Managing people – HR strategies for a growing small business
  • Process mapping – understanding where I add value in my business
  • Raising the finance for growth
  • Planning next steps – with a business mentor 


Businesses can find the online application form by visiting www.sbcgrowthvouchers.co.uk, or contact growthvouchers@aston.ac.uk for further information. 

Notes to Editors               

The Growth Vouchers programme is a pioneering government initiative using a series of Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) to gather evidence on the impact the support has on future business performance.  This is the first ever RCT in the domain of business support. 

Six business schools are participating in this pioneering project: Aston University, University College London, Southampton Solent University, University of Nottingham, Nottingham Trent University and Loughborough University. 

About the Small Business Charter 

The Small Business Charter originated following Lord Young’s report ‘Growing Your Business’, which was aimed at bringing business schools, business and entrepreneurs closer together to deliver support for small businesses and drive local economic growth. Delivered in partnership with the Association of Business Schools, and with the support of Lord Young and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Small Business Charter Awards offers a springboard to unlocking support and investment for students, start-ups and small businesses. The Small Business Charter was launched at an event at No10 on 5th June 2014. 

For more information about the SBC visit http://smallbusinesscharter.org/ 

For information about the Small Business Charter please contact: 

Ian McNaught
Executive Director
Small Business Charter
Tel: 0207 634 9586

For information about the Association of Business Schools please contact:

Barney Roe
Director of Strategic Marketing & External Relations
Association of Business Schools
Tel: 020 7634 9589

For information about Aston Business School please contact: 

Alex Earnshaw
Press Officer
Aston University Communications
Tel: 0121 204 4549