Eighth Midlands cohort graduate from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme

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The FINANCIAL — Aston University is proud to announce the graduation of the eighth Midlands cohort of small business and social enterprise leaders from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme. Classes for the eighth cohort began in March and ran through to July 2015.

The programme, which also operates in Yorkshire, the North West and London, is designed to boost local economic growth and job creation through providing a combination of targeted, high quality, practical business education and support services to small businesses and social enterprises from across the Midlands region, according to Aston University.

Participants received their certificates at a dinner in Birmingham on 22 nd September. Businesses in the eighth cohort represented a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, digital, food and drink, and education and training services. They ranged in size from just under £100,000 in turnover right through to over £3 million. They were recruited from across the Midlands, including Birmingham, Lichfield, Telford, Leamington Spa and as far afield as Herefordshire and Oxfordshire. .  

Professor Mark Hart from Aston Business School, a globally recognised expert in entrepreneurship and small business performance and recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion 2014, is the academic lead for the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the Midlands. He said: “The participants graduating represent a major success story for small businesses in the Midlands as they embark upon the next stage of their growth. Aston Business School has supported the development of their business opportunities, projected to deliver significant additional jobs, profitable revenues and household incomes for local communities across the region in the next 3 years. These participants will join our growing network of nearly 250 small business owners and social enterprise leaders who are playing an important role in the economic growth of this region.”

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One graduate of the eighth Midlands programme, Jane Hatton, Founder and Director at Evenbreak, a specialist online job board run by and for disabled people, said “The amazing experience and support from attending the 10,000 Small Businesses programme helped me to map out a viable growth strategy for the international expansion of Evenbreak, and most importantly, gave me the confidence to implement this strategy”. 

Another participant was Joanne Mackinnon of Welcome Change CIC, a Social Enterprise which operates a Café and Community Centre which accommodates a Recovery Hub for people in recovery from Drug and Alcohol Addiction. When talking about her experience, Joanne said “The course was totally inspiring and every module gave me more and more confidence to progress the growth plan on the ground. Our team will have grown to 11 by the end of this year and I am sure during 2016 we will be adding additional workforce and social enterprise projects”. 


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