Applications open for Aston Business School’s free premier business support programme


In Summary

General | 19th May 2022
A fully funded business support programme is calling for businesses trading in Greater Birmingham & Solihull and Coventry & Warwickshire LEP areas to take part in its final cohort of 2022.

In Detail

Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is helping small businesses to create a clear growth action plan with support from a series of face-to-face workshops taught by experts in SME leadership and management and one-to-one guidance from an experienced business mentor.

Participants will be able to build networks with other business owners from across Greater Birmingham & Solihull and Coventry & Warwickshire and pitch their growth action plan to external business and finance experts.

The programme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), has supported more than 250 businesses since its first cohort back in 2015.

A 2019 industry-standard evaluation revealed:

  • A turnover increase by an average of 38% one year after completing the programme
  • 94% of business leaders became more confident in growing their business
  • 79% of participants improved their ability to use financial data more in decision making

Business leaders of early-stage micro-enterprises have until 17th June 2022 to apply for cohort ten of the programme which begins on 14th September 2022.

Janet Bridgwater, Bridgwater Consultancy, completed the programme in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic: “The programme just got better every workshop; it was a pleasure learning from and working with Professor Mark Hart.

“I also received fabulous 1-2-1 support from my business mentor, Lawrence! I would recommend applying for the programme, especially coming out of a pandemic when businesses need the most support.”

Past programme participant Sandra Berns, Centric HR, began to experience the benefits of Aston Programme for Small Business Growth after less than four months of being on the programme.

“I’m delighted to report that we are on track to hit our annual turnover target of £400k – up from £130k from last year!

“Just listening to my programme mentor, Tim, and bouncing ideas around with him has enabled me to grow my confidence, provide assurance that I’m on the right lines and take action - especially in relation to finances and cash flow.”

Manny Athwal, School of Coding, completed the programme in 2019 as part of Aston Programme for Small Business Growth’s fifth cohort.

“Implementing learnings from the programme has resulted in our business turnover increasing by 380% in less than a year.”

Contact Aston Centre for Growth on 0121 204 3225 or email at to determine eligibility and apply for an Aston Programme for Small Business Growth September 2022 start.