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Government funding to support small business growth

Small businesses (SMEs) across the UK are being offered the chance to receive £2,000 towards a series of growth advice workshops and one-to-one mentoring support through the new Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Scheme.

The programme provides match funding for SMEs to pay for and access high quality leadership and management advice. It is being delivered by a consortium of six top business schools, including Nottingham Business School at Nottingham Trent University.

Businesses looking for strategic support are being encouraged to apply for the scheme and attend one of the diagnostic workshops being held in Nottingham and other locations around the UK. Places are on a first come, first served basis and all businesses who attend will receive £500 worth of advice, including one-on-one mentoring, initial recommendations and a growth action plan they can utilise right away.

Following the diagnostic events, half of the participating businesses will be chosen at random to receive a voucher worth 50% of the cost of the growth programme. Those allocated the Growth Vouchers will receive £2,000 match funding towards the cost of attending ten half day workshops and will also receive up to ten hours of expert business mentoring.

The workshops will cover topics such as a review of growth opportunities; cash flow and general financial management; marketing strategies for small businesses; raising the finance for growth; and planning next steps. Nottingham Business School will also run specialist workshops tailored around the needs of the participating businesses, such as a session on social media strategy.

At the end of the programme, businesses will be invited to attend a national event in April 2015, where they will have the opportunity to network with like-minded growing firms from across the UK.

Launched by the Small Business Charter, the scheme is aimed at driving local economic growth through business school support for entrepreneurs and small businesses. Working together, Nottingham Business School and Nottingham University Business School will cover Nottinghamshire and the surrounding counties, and the consortium will collaborate to deliver sessions in other locations such as Leeds and Manchester.

Alison Smith, Head of Executive Education and Corporate Relations at Nottingham Business School, said: "This is a new and exciting opportunity for businesses to access valuable and practical advice at a fraction of the cost. The workshops, expert mentoring and networking opportunities will give them an unprecedented platform to really kick-start the growth of their business."

To be eligible, applicants must have a business registered in England, have between 1 and 20 employees, have an annual turnover of less than €4 million or £3.2 million, own 75% or more of their business and have been actively selling goods and / or services for at least 12 months. Diagnostic Days will take place in early December and January and workshops during February and March 2015.

To apply visit the Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Scheme website, or for further information email Nottingham Business School.


Source: Nottingham Trent University

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