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The announcement comes as part of a £20 million package announced by the Government to support the recovery and growth of small and medium-sized businesses following the coronavirus pandemic. Solent will be delivering the Small Business Leadership Programme run by the Small Business Charter.

4th August 2020

The University’s Solent Business School is working with the Small Business Charter to deliver a specialised Government funded programme for leaders of small businesses to survive and thrive in the coming months and post coronavirus. This new scheme comes as part of a £20million package the government are providing to help small businesses in the long term.

To aid business resilience and future growth in the current climate, the Small Business Leadership Programme will create peer groups to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance.

The University’s Solent Business School was accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC) June 2014, a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

Coronavirus has put untold pressure on directors and CEOs of small companies trying to navigate unchartered waters. According to a recent McKinsey online survey of UK SMEs, 80 per cent of small businesses reported their revenues were declining in June in 2020.

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The Government has made up to £30 billion available to support economic recovery ahead of the Autumn, and businesses can continue to draw upon a range of financial support during this challenging time, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants. The SBLP will help businesses to bounce back from the impact of coronavirus and prepare for any future disruption.

The practical syllabus provides business leaders with access to small business and management experts from Solent Business School. The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully funded by the Government to enhance small business resilience and recovery from the impact of Covid-19 and develop potential for future growth and productivity.

The short and focused programme will be delivered online through a structured course of eight 90-minute webinars over the course of 10 weeks and will provide the knowledge needed for businesses to tackle crisis situations. It will also give businesses the opportunity to strengthen their business network. Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance.

Anne Kiem, OBE, CEO of Chartered Association of Business Schools and Executive Director of the Small Business Charter said: “As we continue to grapple with the coronavirus crisis it is also essential we look long term to ensure small businesses are supported to build resilience, survival and growth. Business schools can provide the expertise and knowledge all business owners and directors need to continue to thrive in uncertain times.”

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully said: “The strength of small businesses up and down the country will be vital as we begin to bounce back from coronavirus and re-build our economy. The Small Business Leadership Programme will help to equip small business leaders with the leadership and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.”

Professor Karen Stanton, Vice-Chancellor of Solent University says: “We recognise the key role we have to play in both promoting and supporting an economic revival. Here at Solent, we are committed to doing what we can to support businesses, large and small, to survive and thrive in these difficult times.”

“We recently launched our Business Recovery Commitment, pledging ourselves to work alongside the business sector to provide practical help as well as smart thinking, research and knowledge exchange that will have a real impact. This new package from the government will enable us to strengthen our commitment to support the business community.”

Find out more about the Small Business Leadership Programme