Small business and social enterprise leaders from across the West Midlands have graduated from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme this month (April)
The free programme, led regionally by Aston University, is designed to boost local economic growth and job creation through providing a combination of targeted, high quality, practical business education and support services to small businesses and social enterprises from across the Midlands region.
Businesses represented a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, sports, social care, and business services. They ranged in size from approximately £160,000 in turnover to over £9 million and were recruited from across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire Stratford-upon-Avon, and Hereford.
Graduate Tim Landreth, Director of the Natural Childcare Company Limited offers nursery and childcare facilities at two centres in and around Solihull. The Company had plans in place for growth when it joined the programme with the opening of a second nursery and the relocation of the company’s first site. He said, “10,000 Small Businesses enabled me to focus on my role in the business and precisely what it is that my clients, staff, investors and lenders need from the business. The support of the programme tutors and fellow cohort members has been tremendous, with many new ideas and perspectives being freely offered to each other in a very open way, all with the aim of growth. There is no doubt that my business will be stronger and more prepared for the future as a result of my involvement.”
Other graduates included Maria Clack, Managing Director of family business Alderminster Electrics, which delivers electrical services and solar pv panel installations in south Warwickshire and the Cotswolds. Since joining the programme Alderminster Electrics has formulated its vision for future growth, increased the team from seven to nine, gained accreditation for additional areas of renewable technologies and rebranded as a the Alderminster Group offering both electrical and all renewable technology solutions and has plans to move into the commercial sector.
Professor Mark Hart from Aston Business School, academic lead for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands, said; “The participants graduating represent a major success story for small businesses in the Midlands as they embark upon the next stage of their growth. Aston Business School has supported the development of their business opportunities, projected to deliver significant additional jobs, profitable revenues and household incomes for local communities across the region in the next three years. These participants will be added to our growing network of over 165 small business owners and social enterprise leaders who are playing an important role in the economic growth of this region.”
Universities Minister, David Willetts, recently praised the partnership between the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme and Aston University as a ‘shining example’ of how leading universities can benefit small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) and drive economic growth, in his keynote speech at the Universities UK Conference in April.
Applications are currently open for the seventh cohort of the programme in the Midlands, which will take place between September 2014 and February 2015.