News - 17 October 2014

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Programme

The Programme:

10,000 Small Businesses is an innovative fully funded programme designed to unlock the economic and job creation potential of small businesses and social enterprises from across the Midlands. The Programme is delivered by Aston Business School in partnership with the Goldman Sachs Foundation and it is targeted at business owners who have clear ambitions to expand their small businesses or social enterprises.

The programme is designed specifically for the leaders of established small businesses who have the ambition and the potential to generate substantial growth in their enterprises. Participants  benefit from a full package of support with a strong focus on structured peer learning and the creation of community of entrepreneurs. The emphasis throughout the programme is on learning that is practically applicable to you and your business straight away. This is done by providing you with practical tools and resources to help lay the foundation for long term sustainable growth and job creation in your businesses.

This support includes attendance at high quality, practically-focussed business and management education modules, delivered by Aston Business School, plus a range of other tailor-made support including specialist workshops and one to one business support. Through the on-going success of the programme, we are proud to be developing a growth orientated network of influential business leaders across the Midlands. To date a total of 166 business leaders have already completed the Programme, with a seventh cohort of 33 businesses currently on the programme.

Programme Impact:

The programme is in four locations across the UK (Midlands, Yorkshire, North West and London). Data collected from the businesses who have completed the programme across the UK indicates that 10,000 Small Businesses is having an observable impact on jobs and turnover:

  • A large majority – 77% – of participants report in their initial follow up survey that they had increased the number of people they employed in the previous 12 months.
  • On average participants reported an annual increase of 23% in their net employment over the baseline position.
  • Two thirds – 66% – of participants indicated that, compared to the same period in the previous 12 months, their turnover had increased.
  • On average participants reported an annual increase of 16% in their annual turnover over the baseline position.

Almost all (92%) participants report that they are now more confident in their ability successfully to grow their business than they were before participating in 10,000 Small Businesses UK.

If you would like to hear how the programme has helped businesses from across a range of sectors in the Midlands, you can view case studies at  

Preview Events

We are pleased to be holding a series of Preview Events throughout October and November 2014. 

The events are free to attend and will include presentations from the Programme Team and past participants, as well as offering you the chance to ask any questions you may have about the Programme.  Following the presentations there will be refreshments and an opportunity to network with other like-minded businesses.


If you would like to attend any of the above you may register by clicking on this link:, by replying to this email or by calling 0121 204 3225 to book your place.  In addition, if you have any friends, family members or business contacts who you think may also be interested in the Programme then we would be delighted if you could forward information about the Preview Events to them too.


There are a number of eligibility criteria in order to apply to the programme, which I have briefly outlined below for you:

  • The applicant must be the primary owner of the business/primary co-owner of the business/most senior decision maker of a social enterprise
  • The business must have been trading for at least 1 year (the programme is not for start-up businesses)
  • The business will have around 5-40 employees
  • Business needs to be scalable and capable of generating employment.

Please talk to the Programme Team directly, if you are interested in applying but don’t quite hit all of the above criteria – there is some flexibility and they look at businesses on a case by case basis.

Applications are currently open for the programme that will begin in March 2015. A copy of the Applicant Information Leaflet can be downloaded from and the closing date for applications is Friday 28 November 2014.

If the programme is something that you would like to learn more about and you would like to find out how it could help you and your business grow, please contact the team by email at or by telephoning 0121 204 3225

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