Government offers free help for microbusinesses to grow through tech

Manchester Metropolitan University Business School
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Two Greater Manchester business schools are part of a programme offering free help to microbusinesses to expand through the use of new technology.

Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and Salford Business School are among 15 institutions around England taking part in the inititiative.

It is possible after funding was awarded to the Small Business Charter from the Government’s £9m Business Basics Programme to help more than 700 microbusinesses use tech to increase productivity.

A consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter for their expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs, including the two Greater Manchester schools, will deliver the ‘Leading to Grow Programme’.

The programme will be offered at no cost to microbusinesses.

Businesses that employ up to nine people will be able to apply to take part in workshops around how to utilise existing technologies to improve efficiency and profitability.

The funding has been made available through the Government’s £9m Business Basics Programme run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

Due to the small size and the dispersed nature of microbusinesses, they have not routinely received planned interventions by government agencies.

The Government is now targeting this type of business due to their potential and readiness to scale-up, and this is the first time that such a programme has been coordinated across the country.

With so many areas being covered it is hoped that this free programme will help a large number of microbusinesses and support economic growth in a number of regions.

The UK’s 1.1 million microbusinesses employ more than four million people and contribute £533bn to the UK economy.

The business schools, the Small Business Charter and the Government hope to make a real impact on this important part of the economy.

Anne Kiem

Anne Kiem, executive director of the Small Business Charter and chief executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: “We are excited to be working with business schools to help improve the productivity of a range of microbusinesses.

“The pace of technological advances means that today’s small firms who embrace innovation will be tomorrow’s success stories.”