Chancellor kickstarts Help to Grow scheme at Aston Business School

Date posted: August 6, 2021
Rishi Sunak speaks at aston uni

The Chancellor has called on the leaders of small and medium-sized businesses to sign up to a new programme designed to hone their expertise as he attended one of the first courses in the UK at Aston University.

Rishi Sunak joined a class taking part in the government-funded Help to Grow: Management scheme at Aston Business School alongside small business owners, to see first-hand how it is giving them the tools they need to innovate, grow and help drive the recovery from the pandemic.

The Chancellor delivered a talk to participants at Aston Business School on the critical role small businesses can play in boosting UK productivity. He then took part in a group activity and led a discussion about their own business models and opportunities for growth.

The scheme, which was announced at the March Budget and opened for applications in May, will give 30,000 SMEs access to world-class business expertise on everything from financial management to marketing and is a pivotal part of the government’s Plan for Jobs.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, said:

Small businesses are key to our innovation and economy and will therefore be an essential part to our recovery from the pandemic, which is why we are levelling up their skills through the Help to Grow schemes.

I want to bring some of the best bits of management training from around the world to help boost productivity here in the UK.

Help to Grow: Management will ensure our brilliant SMEs seize every opportunity to grow, fuelling our Plan for Jobs by boosting productivity in all corners of the UK.

Experts in small business and entrepreneurship from Aston University have played a significant role in developing the programme.

Mark Hart, professor of small business and entrepreneurship at Aston University and associate director of Aston Centre for Growth, said:

The launch of the Government’s Help to Grow: Management programme for SMEs is a welcome addition at a critical time to the range of support available to small business leaders across the UK.

Small firms will drive the recovery as they have always done in previous economic downturns and equipping their leaders with the leadership and management skills from the UK’s leading business schools will ensure that they will build even more resilient, innovative and sustainable businesses capable of responding to the emerging opportunities in their chosen markets.

This is a practical, intensive 12-week programme designed by some of our top academics to provide the skills required to improve the performance and productivity of small firms across all sectors of the economy.

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