Sole traders and micro businesses across the UK will be able to apply for free, targeted support to plan and boost their growth during the current economic turbulence.
With the threat of UK recession, Small Business Britain is bringing back its popular ‘Small and Mighty Enterprise Programme’ with university ARU Peterborough and in partnership with global small business platform Xero, to help supercharge Britain’s smallest firms.
Designed for the UK’s 5.2 million microbusinesses that aren’t always suited to or eligible for other forms of support such as the Government-backed Help to Grow scheme, the programme will help the UK’s smallest businesses find new avenues for growth with guidance from ARU Peterborough academics and other seasoned experts, as well as mentoring and peer-to-peer support, concluding with help to draft a growth plan.
“Small businesses continue to face a raft of challenges, and the very tiniest firms are particularly susceptible to the headwinds we are seeing now in the economy and need targeted support to recover and grow in this climate,” said Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain.
“These smaller businesses make up the bulk of the UK economy and literally represent the seeds of our future economy. However, the route to growth isn’t always obvious or straightforward when you are working on your own or in a very small team. The aim of this programme is to provide really targeted, helpful guidance that acknowledges these challenges and is delivered in a flexible, free format.”
Kicking off again in April, the six-week course will be delivered online and is designed to fit around existing work commitments and offer inclusive and flexible learning, along with two hours of free mentoring.
“The modules were well-structured, and I was easily able to fit this around the day-to-day running of my business,” said Leisa Pickles, owner of Find me the Leads, took part in last year’s Small and Mighty programme to support in planning her business evolution in 2023.
“The sessions with other small business owners were inspiring, and a reminder that anything is possible with the right planning. On top of this I benefited from free mentoring, which was a great resource for clarifying the future direction of my business. I would recommend the programme to any small business, whether starting out, scaling, or seeking a change.”
Entrepreneurs will receive weekly expert teaching on topics from business strategy and marketing, to finance and resilience, including touching on guidance around new ’Making Tax Digital’ legislation.
Jo Copestake, Director, small business, Xero said: “Despite the huge contribution microbusinesses make to the UK economy, their needs are still underserved. It’s important we address this, and it’s a privilege to be working with Small Business Britain to help this group discover and unlock new routes to growth. Amazing things can happen when entrepreneurs are given the right tools and support to harness their potential.”
Each business on the Small and Mighty Enterprise programme will also have access to a supportive network of small businesses to share questions, challenges and solutions as they take action on their plan for growth.
“I signed up for the Small and Mighty Programme hoping I would gain skills to take my business to the next level and I was not disappointed,” said Linda Blake owner of Cheshire-based Helpmeorganics.
“From learning how to discover your ideal client, devise a marketing strategy, and protect against scams, this programme covers everything. But you get something else too, to be part of a supportive community. This is not only priceless, but vital to grow as an entrepreneur and small business owner, which can be very lonely at times.”
Dr Tom Williamson, Assistant Principal of ARU Peterborough, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our successful collaboration with Small Business Britain and its fantastic Small and Mighty Enterprise programme.
“ARU Peterborough’s experts in business, management and finance helped 300 small businesses to ‘think big’ last autumn, and we can’t wait to help a new group of microbusiness owners as part of this important programme.”
Small businesses can sign up to take part in the programme here https://smallbusinessbritain.uk/small-and-mighty