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Nottingham Business School awarded government funding to help microbusinesses use tech to grow

Nottingham Business School (NBS) has been awarded funding to support 50 microbusinesses to engage with technology to boost their productivity.

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Leading to Grow will form part of NBS' support for small businesses and entrepreneurs

NBS, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, is part of a consortium of business schools which will deliver the programme. NBS holds Small Business Charter accreditation for its expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Leading to Grow Programme will be offered at no cost to microbusinesses across England.

Businesses which employ up to nine people will be able to apply to take part in workshops on utilising existing technologies to improve efficiency and profitability.

The funding has been made available through the government’s £8m Business Basics Programme run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

Due to the small size and the dispersed nature of microbusinesses, they have not routinely received planned interventions by government agencies. The government is now targeting this type of business due to their potential and readiness to scale-up, and this is the first time that such a programme has been coordinated across the country.

With so many areas being covered it is hoped that this free programme will help a large number of microbusinesses and support economic growth in a number of regions.

The UK’s 1.1 million microbusinesses employ over 4 million people and contribute £533bn to the UK economy. The business schools, the Small Business Charter and the government hope to make a real impact on this important part of the economy.

In June 2019 NBS’ Small Business Charter accreditation was renewed for another five years. Its award winning Thinkubator Challenge, which sees students come together to tackle real business issues, was highlighted as an exemplar in the sector. Over the past six years, NBS staff and students have tackled a total of 260 business challenges via Thinkubator, with 80% of these coming from small businesses.

Dean of Nottingham Business School, Professor Baback Yazdani, said: “At NBS, we have a 40-year history of providing education and research that combines academic excellence with real impact on business, and shaping business through transforming people and organisations with collaborative work. This innovative Leading to Grow Programme will become an important part of the support we offer.”

Anne Kiem, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said: "We are excited to be working with business schools to help improve the productivity of a range of microbusinesses. The pace of technological advances means that today’s small firms who embrace innovation will be tomorrow’s success stories”

For further information on Leading to Grow please contact NBS via email

This year’s Thinkubator Challenge takes place on Wednesday 13 November. To find out more and submit a challenge, visit the website

  • Notes for editors

    Press enquiries please contact Helen Breese, Public Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8751, or via email


    Barney Roe, Director of Communications & External Relations, Small Business Charter, Chartered Association of Business School on telephone: +44 (0)20 7634 9589 or via email

    Nottingham Business School

    Nottingham Business School is internationally recognised as a business school which combines academic excellence with impact on business and society. It creates globally responsible leaders through ethical, responsible and sustainable management education.

    NBS subjects are ranked 4th for Accounting and Finance, 7th for Economics, and 11th for Business, Management and Marketing in the Guardian’s 2020 league tables.  NBS holds international AASCB and EQUIS accreditation, the hallmark of excellence for business schools globally and is also ranked in the top 100 of the Financial Times European Business School Ranking since 2017 with its MSc in Management has ranking the Top 100  Globally

    NBS is a PRME Champion, a status given to institutions which have contributed to thought and action leadership on responsible management education in the context of the United Nations sustainable development agenda.

    It was recently re-accredited for the Small Business Charter (SBC) for the next five years, a mark of support for businesses and SMEs, engagement with the local economy and entrepreneurship education.

    NBS provides a transformational experience for its students through personalised and experiential learning. Each student has their learning experience tailored to their aspirations through academic and industry mentors, analytics, and a comprehensive range of personal development and experiential learning opportunities.

    Small Business Charter

    The Small Business Charter grew out of Lord Young’s report ‘Growing Your Business’, with the aim of bringing business schools, business and entrepreneurs together to deliver support for small businesses and drive local economic growth. The award is a nationally recognised kitemark and it facilitates valuable knowledge sharing networks to ensure the value of the business school knowledge, management expertise, and enterprise education offered by its business schools is maximised and utilised.

    The SBC website acts as a hub connecting small businesses with business advice and support provided by the 33 business schools which have achieved the award. For more information about the SBC visit the website

    About the Chartered Association of Business Schools

    The Chartered Association of Business Schools is the voice of the UK’s business and management education sector. We support our members to maintain world-class standards of teaching and research, and help shape policy and create opportunities through dialogue with business and government. For more information about the Chartered ABS visit the website

    1. Figures from Business Population Estimates 2018, BEIS
Published on 30 October 2019
  • Category: Business; Press office; Nottingham Business School