Growth Voucher initiative launched nationwide by Small Business Charter business schools

The Small Business Charter has today launched the Government-backed Growth Voucher programme which will be delivered nationwide by a consortium of business schools to provide advice and support to small businesses small businesses. The Growth Voucher programme will provide match funding to small businesses to pay for leadership and management advice from a group of trailblazing business schools who hold a Small Business Charter award.

The ABS has continued to play a central role in engaging with policy makers and highlighting the contributions made by business schools to economic prosperity in local communities. Following the Witty Review and recommendations by the Government’s Adviser on Enterprise Lord Young in 2013, the Small Business Charter was set up to ensure SMEs will continue to benefit from mentoring and business support provided by award winning business schools.

Eligible businesses can apply for a voucher to match fund up to £2,000 towards the cost of strategic advice in the following areas:

  • Review of growth opportunity – competitor analysis tools
  • Cash flow and general financial management
  • Marketing and sales strategies for micro-enterprise
  • Process mapping – understanding where I add value in my business
  • Raising the finance for growth
  • Planning next steps – with a business mentor

This tailored Growth Voucher programme is being led by six business schools who hold the Small Business Charter, and will allow more entrepreneurs nationwide to access world class support to expand their businesses.
The consortium delivering the programme are:

  • Aston University, Aston Business School
  • University College London, Department of Management Science and Innovation
  • Southampton Solent, Faculty of Business, Sport & Enterprise
  • University of Nottingham, Nottingham University Business School
  • Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School
  • Loughborough University, School of Business and Economics.

Commenting on the launch Enterprise Adviser to the Prime Minister, Lord Young said “Strategic advice is key to business success and I welcome the arrival of a number of the Small Business Charter Business Schools as a partner delivering the Growth Vouchers Programme. With their support, more small businesses will be able to access the advice they need to succeed and grow and create more jobs and opportunities.”

Ian McNaught, the new Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, has been working closely with the consortium. He said “I am thrilled and excited that business schools awarded with the Small Business Charter are now at the frontline of Government’s support network for ambitious small businesses. Growth Vouchers are a great new weapon in our armoury as we work to link the expertise of Britain’s world class business schools with the dynamism of our ever growing ranks of entrepreneurs.”

For business schools looking to apply for a Small Business Charter award, please contact Marion Gaskell on

For small businesses looking for more information, please click here