£20m government package announced for business schools across the UK

Economy & Politics | Education | Funding | National

The government has partnered with the Small Business Charter to provide a specialised programme for leaders of small businesses to survive and thrive in the coming months and post coronavirus. This new scheme comes as part of a £20m package the government are providing to help small businesses in the long term.

To aid business resilience and future growth in the current climate, the Small Business Leadership Programme will create peer groups to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance, from some of the top business schools around the country.

All business schools delivering the programme have been accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC), a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

Coronavirus has put untold pressure on directors and CEOs of small companies trying to navigate unchartered waters. According to a recent McKinsey online survey of UK SMEs, 80% of small businesses reported their revenues were declining in June in 2020.

The Government has made up to £30bn available to support economic recovery ahead of the Autumn and businesses can continue to draw upon a range of financial support during this challenging time, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants. The SBLP will help businesses to bounce back from the impact of coronavirus and prepare for any future disruption.

The practical syllabus provides business leaders with access to small business and management experts at some of the UK’s leading business schools. The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully funded by the Government to enhance small business resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and develop potential for future growth and productivity.

The short and focused programme will be delivered online through a structured course of eight 90-minute webinars over the course of 10 weeks and will provide the knowledge needed for businesses to tackle crisis situations. It will also give businesses the opportunity to strengthen their business network.  Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance

Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and CEO of Chartered Association of Business Schools said: “The effects of COVID-19 have been particularly damaging for small businesses and providing their leaders with the experience and knowledge to survive and thrive will be essential for the future success of the country. While cash injections are important, for the long-term, business leaders need the skills to ensure they and their businesses are resilient and can grow throughout this period and beyond. Accessing experts from the world-leading business schools we have in this country will be an essential resource for businesses in the months and years to come.”

Michelle Ovens MBE, Chair of the Small Business Charter said: “Half of small businesses in the UK expect revenues to drop by more than a half following the coronavirus pandemic. Small businesses are finding themselves under a huge amount of pressure from the complexities of opening up again, social distancing, protecting staff and customers, drop in footfall and spend across the board. This new programme is a fantastic opportunity with the greatest business minds to ensure business leaders can get the expertise and knowledge they need to recover and thrive.”

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