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Free support for businesses to boost growth through tech

Microbusinesses looking to boost productivity through technology, such as tracking customer behaviour, converting sales leads or making the most of social media, can access free support from Nottingham Business School (NBS), part of Nottingham Trent University.

Newton building
NBS is listed in the Top 100 European Business Schools by the Financial Times

Organisations which employ up to nine people are being invited to take part in a workshop on using existing technologies to improve efficiency and profitability. Selected businesses can also benefit from one-to-one coaching with an expert to support them with their challenge.

NBS, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, is part of a consortium of business schools delivering the Leading to Grow programme. The Business School holds Small Business Charter accreditation for its expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs and is listed in the Top 100 European Business Schools by the Financial Times.

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.

The half day workshop – taking place on either 6 and 11 March 2020 – can help businesses to find simple ways to implement technology in their organisation, helping to better manage relationships with customers, track stock, finances and sales, and reduce administrative mistakes, for instance.

Dr Lynn Oxborrow, Principal Lecturer in Small Business and Supply Chain Management at NBS, said: “In 2019 alone, Nottingham Business School provided free support to over 350 local businesses. The businesses we support range from start-ups, micro business and family firms to fast growth businesses employing 100’s of people.

“This project supports micro businesses that have not previously engaged with the Business School.

“At our first workshop, the SMEs had a very lively discussion and all took away some new ideas and actions from their experience of spending time thinking about business, talking to our technology expert and learning from other participants.”

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 is an important part of the support we offer.”

To join the Leading to Grow Programme, businesses must:

  • Be a formally registered business (i.e. the business must have a VAT number, or PAYE number, or Companies house registration) and have a trading history of three years or more
  • Employ between 1 and 9 people
  • Not have participated on any other business school programme targeted at raising productivity within the last 12 months

Social enterprises are eligible as long as there is demonstrable traded income.

For further information on Leading to Grow at NBS please email

  • Notes for editors

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


    The Business Basics Fund supports projects that test methods of encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to boost their productivity through ways of working and technology. The fund is administered by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

    The Small Business Charter and partner business schools

    The Small Business Charter is a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting small businesses, student enterprise, and the local economy.
    The Leading to Grow Programme workshops and training will be provided by experts at 15 business schools that have been accredited by the Small Business Charter.

    Nottingham Business School

    Nottingham Business School,currently celebrating its 40th anniversary,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 reaccredited 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 we facilitate valuable knowledge sharing networks to ensure the value of the business school knowledge, management expertise, and enterprise education offered by our 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:

    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:

    1. Figures from Business Population Estimates 2018, BEIS
Published on 24 February 2020
  • Category: Business; Press office; Nottingham Business School