New partnership with Government to bring business school support to small businesses

The Small Business Charter has partnered with the Department of Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to provide a specialised programme for leaders of small businesses, helping them to survive and thrive throughout the post-COVID-19 recovery and beyond. This new scheme comes as part of a £20million package the Government are providing to help small businesses in the long term.

Delivered through the Small Business Charter, a national accreditation scheme run by the Chartered ABS, the Small Business Leadership Programme will give small businesses access to specialised development and training programmes at business schools across England, to aid business resilience and future growth in the current climate.

Coronavirus has put untold pressure on directors and CEOs of small companies trying to navigate unchartered waters. According to a recent McKinsey online survey of UK SMEs, 80 percent of small businesses reported their revenues were declining in June in 2020.

In response, the Small Business Leadership Programme will offer a practical syllabus to help businesses bounce back from the impact of COVID-19 and prepare for any future disruption, giving them access to experts in small business and management at some of the UK’s leading business schools. All business schools delivering the programme hold Small Business Charter accreditation, awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

The Government has made up to £30 billion available to support economic recovery ahead of the Autumn and businesses can continue to draw upon a range of financial support during this challenging time, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants. The SBLP will help businesses to bounce back from the impact of coronavirus and prepare for any future disruption.

Anne Kiem OBE, CEO of Chartered Association of Business Schools and Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, said: “The effects of COVID-19 have been particularly damaging for small businesses and providing their leaders with the experience and knowledge to survive and thrive will be essential following the Coronavirus pandemic. While cash injections are important, for the long-term, business leaders will also need guidance to ensure they remain resilient and can continue grow throughout this period and beyond. Accessing experts from the world-leading business schools we have in this country will be an essential resource for businesses in the months and years to come.”

Michelle Ovens MBE, Chair of the Small Business Charter said: “Half of small businesses in the UK expect revenues to drop by more than a half following the coronavirus pandemic. Small businesses are finding themselves under a huge amount of pressure from the complexities of opening up again, social distancing, protecting staff and customers, drop in footfall and spend across the board. This new programme is a fantastic opportunity with the greatest business minds to ensure business leaders can get the expertise and knowledge they need to recover.”

Paul Scully, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said: “The strength of small businesses up and down the country will be vital as we begin to bounce back from coronavirus and re-build our economy. The Small Business Leadership Programme will help to equip small business leaders with the leadership and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.”

Find out more about the SBLP and how we are working with Government to connect business school experts and small businesses in need.