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Monday 1 December 2014

Small businesses given opportunity to work with our Business School

Small businesses in Southampton could be set to benefit from the Small Business Charter’s growth voucher programme.

Southampton Solent Business School are part of a national consortium that have partnered with the government to help deliver a new growth voucher initiative, funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.


Eligible small businesses owners will be given a chance to take part in a practical growth mentorship programme, delivered by leading business schools and supported with one-to-one coaching from experienced business mentors. These sessions will offer actionable advice and focus on growing and improving small businesses.

Applications are open to anyone who:

  • owns a business registered in England
  • has fewer than 20 employees
  • has an annual turnover of less than €4 million or £3.2 million
  • is independent (i.e. no more than 25% owned by one or more external organisations)
  • and has been actively selling goods and/or services for at least 12 months.

Everyone who applies will be eligible to attend a free growth diagnostic workshop. This half day event has been designed to help evaluate growth potential in small businesses, help business owners form a “growth action plan” under the guidance of business mentors, and to act as a networking event.

Those who find the growth diagnostic programme helpful may wish to apply for the full programme. The full programme has the same entry criteria as the free workshop, and eligible applicants are able to take advantage of up to £2000 worth of match funding towards the cost of the course.

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The full course covers everything from raising finances for growth through to marketing and human resource management, and will be delivered over the course of seven workshops.

Speaking of the scheme, Lord Young, the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Adviser, said:

“Strategic advice is key to business success and I welcome the arrival of Southampton Solent Business School as a partner delivering the growth vouchers programme. With their support, more small businesses will be able to access the advice they need to succeed and grow, and create more jobs and opportunities.”

To find out more about the scheme and to how to apply, email Professor Georgina Andrews, Director of the Southampton Solent Business School.