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Associate Professor Gillian Saieva comments on this week’s budget announcement regarding the Government’s £520 million investment to upskill and support SMEs, through the Help to Grow Management Programme.

5th March 2021

“The budget announcement this week has heralded a positive nod to our Chancellor Rishi Sunak, from the Business School communities across the UK. Following the success of the Small Business Leadership Programme in England with over 2,300 participants in a 6-month period, the commitment of £520M over a period of 3 years towards the Help to Grow programmes (Management & Digital Adoption), will see Business Schools deliver a 12-week Help to Grow: Management Programme to 30,000 participants.

“This sets a clear position from the Treasury on how they see the UK Small Business Charter Awarded business schools across the UK. It was considered by the Treasury that there would never be any question around who would deliver this programme to the SME business community and considers these business schools as those who can sprinkle the much needed ‘stardust’ to support small business growth and development. This decision evidences the impact of strong lobbing by the Chartered ABS in Whitehall across the last decade to highlight the importance of Business Schools in supporting entrepreneurship and small business growth.

“While a 12-week structured programme with mentoring provision is positive news, business schools need to use this opportunity to reach out and build sustainable networks across businesses to achieve the impact required for embedded change. The pandemic has created a lonely existence for many business owners and the value of quality networks to support knowledge acquisition and sharing of best practice is now key. With this partnership set to happen across the university sector, building further relationships are considered as a vital component to deliver growth and productivity. Progression to degree apprenticeships and opportunities for knowledge exchange and research, not only contribute to economic growth, but the wider society, environmental and cultural enhancement.”

More information on the support and services available through Solent Business School can be found on our Business Solutions webpage.

About Associate Professor Gillian Saieva

Gillian is Head of Undergraduate Programmes / Business, Innovation & Growth at Solent University. She holds a range of external appointments including: Chartered Association of Business School's Small Business Charter Assessor and Regional Liaison Network Member, Professional Standards Board Member for the Certified Management & Business Educator Award, CMI South East Board Member & Regional Stakeholder Lead, AdvanceHE Fellowship Assessor and International Panel Member for the National Forum for Enhancement of Teaching & Learning in HE in the Republic of Ireland.

Her doctorate is researching the gendered impacts on female entrepreneurs during the Covid-19 pandemic.