Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme Programme Summary and Applicant Information

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1 Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers Programme Programme Summary and Applicant Information

2 Are you passionate about growing your business? With access to high quality leadership and management education from a national consortium of leading universities, you can give yourself the best possible start. The Government is helping small businesses, like yours, to access strategic advice from a national network of business schools. They are funding 3,000 towards the cost of a 5,000 targeted business growth programme run by world-class business schools, offering a full programme of key small business growth areas. Something you would expect to cost a lot more. What happens next? Apply 10-minute online registration Provide your business contact details and companies house registration number, or PAYE & VAT numbers if you're a sole trader or in general partnership Chose your local business school Diagnostic Attend a free Business Diagnostic - a half-day growth workshop with leading experts Get personal support from a professional business mentor Evaluate your business and design your growth plan Voucher Voucher Allocation - randomised allocation of Growth Vouchers Full Programme Embark on our unique 10-module, peer-learning programme Attend your local business school Network with like-minded businesses Receive up to 10 hours of professional business mentoring

3 Full Programme Content The programme is specifically designed to address the issues faced by small businesses as they grow and is practically focussed to help owner managers apply business theory within the workplace. The modular workshop structure allows participants to develop and implement strategies to bring immediate benefits to the business. Participants learn with their peers, building a network of contacts that will continue beyond the programme, and have the support of their mentor between workshops to help them apply the learning to their own business context. Seven Growth Workshops 1. Review of Growth Opportunity Looks at the capabilities within the business and the opportunities available through good marketplace understanding. Competitor analysis shows your market position and the feasibility of future strategic moves. 2. Cash Flow and General Financial Management This workshop provides the practical help for a business leader to gain a good understanding of cash flow so they can make sound business decisions and identify the need for additional funding. Includes cost behaviour and analysis, and the importance of timing, planning and decision making. 3. Marketing Strategies Evaluation of the strategic marketing options available with regard to customer targeting, product/service mix, promotion and brand. It helps you develop realistic marketing goals and explore practical solutions for implementing these with limited resources. 4. Managing People - HR Strategies for a Growing Small Business Considers the skills and resources needed during growth. This module develops strategies for the business leader in structuring and managing their team - identifying roles, successful recruitment, performance management and employment law. 5. Process Mapping This workshop covers process mapping and raises awareness of bottlenecks preventing business growth. Business leaders will learn how to identify operational barriers to growth within their business, and the skills to rework operational procedures to address those barriers. 6. Raising Finance for Growth This session covers forms of finance available for business growth such as Private Equity, Debt and other sources, identify funding gaps for their own business growth and consider different funding options. It includes an opportunity to discuss investment needs with investors, and entrepreneurs experienced in raising funding.

4 7. Planning the Next Steps This provides a framework for the business leaders to consolidate their plans for growth, drawing together the learning from workshops 1-6. You will consider implementation in detail, and use goal setting, prioritising and scheduling to provide a structured action plan with strategies for identifying and addressing any issues. Specialist Workshops In addition to the seven Growth Workshops, participants will attend three specialist workshops tailored to the needs of their business and giving an opportunity to work on topics from the core workshops in more detail, such as sales strategies, use of social media and leadership. One-to-one Business Mentor All participants on the full programme will benefit from up to ten one-to-one hours from an experienced business mentor. They provide the essential support to help you relate workshop content to your own business, translating your learning into strategy and actions, enabling you to identify and work through individual issues that might otherwise be barriers to your growth. National Networking Events Business owners on the full programme will be able to join their peers from across the UK together at national networking events, have an opportunity to hear from key note speakers and take part in facilitated networking with the other business participants from the programme. Cost The cost of the full programme is 5,000, 60% of which is covered by the Growth Voucher - you only pay 2,000. UK government pays 3,000 Diagnostic FREE Workshop 1 Workshop 7 Workshop

5 Voucher Allocation This Programme is a pioneering government research project and uses a Randomised Controlled Trial to allocate vouchers. All applicants will attend an initial Growth Diagnostic Workshop, free of charge, designed to help you evaluate your business and its growth potential. You will meet likeminded business owners, work with experienced faculty mentors, and leave with an action plan to help you unlock the growth potential of your business straight away. After the workshop some participants will receive a Growth Voucher equivalent to 3,000, and go on to attend the full programme. Others will not receive a voucher. Whether or not you are allocated a voucher is a completely random process and is not related to your business or what happens at the workshop. Eligibility Criteria This programme is designed specifically to tackle the issues faced by owner managers of growing small businesses. You must be the owner of a small business that meets the following criteria: Must have between 1-19 Full Time Employees, or equivalent Must have a turnover of less than 3.2m Must be registered in England Must be independent (i.e. no more than 25% owned by one or more external or parent organisations) Must have been actively selling goods and/or services for at least 12 months Must not have not applied for a Growth Voucher before, or use it alongside any other forms of public funding Must have received less than 200,000 of public support in the last three fiscal years, and satisfy the eligibility criteria for De Minimis aid Must not have already paid for any strategic business advice in the last three years* (such as developing a financial, marketing or growth strategy, exploring how digital technologies can be used to improve productivity, and undertaking a skills audit). * If your business has received day-to-day advice from an accountant, book keeper, and solicitor or as a member of a business organisation on completing your annual business accounts, or understanding the legal/regulatory requirements of running your business, you would still be eligible for the programme.

6 How to apply Visit to access the online application. Alternatively you can contact us by phone on or us at Key Dates Diagnostic Workshops: March & April 2015 Full Programme Workshops: May-June 2015 National Networking Events: July 2014 The Small Business Charter Growth Vouchers programme is a national programme being delivered by a consortium of universities led by Aston Business School.

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