The University of Salford Business School has been awarded funding to help microbusinesses engage with technology in order to boost their productivity.
The school is part of consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter for their expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. The Leading to Grow Programme will be offered at no cost to microbusinesses across England.
Businesses that employ up to nine people will be able to apply to attend workshops aimed at supporting their utilisation of existing technologies with the aim of improving their own efficiency and profitability.
The funding has been made available through the government’s £8m Business Basics Programme run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.
Due to the small size and the dispersed nature of microbusinesses, they have not routinely received planned interventions by government agencies. The government is now targeting this type of business due to their potential and readiness to scale-up, and this is the first time that such a programme has been coordinated across the country.
With so many areas being covered it is hoped that this free programme will help a large number of microbusinesses and support economic growth in a number of regions.
The UK’s 1.1 million microbusinesses employ over 4 million people and contribute £533bn to the UK economy. The business schools, the Small Business Charter and the government hope to make a real impact on this important part of the economy.
Dr Francine Morris, Associate Dean, Enterprise and Engagement at the University of Salford Business School, said: “We love working with smaller businesses to help them grow and achieve their ambitions. We know that micro and small businesses can be held back by a lack of technical skills so this funding allows us to work locally to help remove barriers to digital innovation. This programme aligns really well with the University of Salford’s mission to grow the regional economy and create jobs and we look forward to getting started.”
Anne Kiem, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: “We are excited to be working with business schools to help improve the productivity of a range of microbusinesses. The pace of technological advances means that today’s small firms who embrace innovation will be tomorrow’s success stories.”