SMEs urged to apply for Goldman Sachs programme

SMEs urged to apply for Goldman Sachs programme

SMEs and social enterprises across the UK are being urged to apply for a new programme launched by the Goldman Sachs “10,000 Small Businesses” initiative.

The programme is using online collaborative tools to help participants combine their learning with the demands of running a small business.

The curriculum, a practical education on business and management, is delivered through a mix of flexible online learning and residential modules.

It supports each participant in the development of a customised “Growth Plan” for their business that will enhance productivity, allow greater access to capital, and unlock potential for job creation.

Megan Morys-Carter, director of the Oxford Saïd Entrepreneurship Centre, said: “The opportunity to meet and swap ideas with other small business leaders from different industry sectors and locations has been a big part of the effectiveness of the programme.

“Using online collaborative tools as well as residential sessions is a way of enriching those interactions and developing new insights from working in different ways.”

The 10-week programme comprises formal learning, mentoring, and peer-to-peer support. There are specialist workshops on the core business functions and skills, from marketing to leadership, as well as business coaching and one-to-one advice from professional experts.

Over 900 participants have graduated from the 10,000 Small Businesses programme in the UK. A 2014 report on the impact of the programme found that, on average, participants were growing turnover at between 23% and 42% per year after participating in the programme, and growing employment between 16% and 26%, depending on when they graduated.

The strong revenue growth and job creation exhibited by participants continues well beyond graduation, with 88% of participants increasing turnover three years after starting the programme, and 90% of participants growing net employment. 

Goldman Sachs launched the 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme in 2010 specifically to address the support gap for small enterprises.

The programme is run in partnership with Oxford Saïd, the Aston Centre for Growth, Aston University, and Leeds University Business School.