Leadership programme secures funding to support more SMEs on road to recovery

Funding | North East

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Leadership programme, created specifically to help SMEs build resilience and manage the impact of Covid-19, has secured funding to support an additional cohort of businesses from the region next month (March), as well as confirming a second round of the programme to take place later this year.

Round one of the Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP) has supported more than 150 businesses across the North East and Cumbria over the past six months.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the SBLP provides a free, 10-week training programme for senior leaders in SMEs. It covers a range of practical topics and is delivered online by small business experts – including entrepreneurs, business leaders and academics – from Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University.

To date, nine cohorts (of up to 25 business leaders) have joined or completed the Programme, representing a diverse mix of sectors – from manufacturing, engineering and bio science to design, tourism, IT and dentistry.

Dr Matthew Sutherland from Newcastle Business School, who has co-led the Small Business Leadership Programme in the region, said: “When we launched the SBLP last year we knew that many SMEs were facing unprecedented challenges. We wanted to deliver a programme that would provide the right mix of practical support, insight and expertise to help them recover. Importantly, we also wanted to connect small business leaders with peers from across the region to facilitate shared learning.

“We’ve been delighted to have helped more than 150 business already and the recent confirmation of funding for future courses – one cohort next month and up to nine more groups later this year – is testament to the success of the Programme and the importance of its role in helping the regional business community to rebuild.”

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