Take your business to new heights

Wednesday 2nd of October 2019 01:53 PM

Take your early-stage business to the next level by joining the Aston Programme for Small Business Growth.

Develop your leadership skills and build a targeted growth strategy for your own business in the company of other ambitious business leaders.

Aston Business School is among 1% of business schools worldwide with triple accreditation, and since 2014 has also held the Small Business Charter reflecting its expertise in SME engagement.

As part of Aston Business School, the Centre for Growth creates impact for SMEs through a range of targeted specialist programmes, practical in delivery and underpinned by leading research.

The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is free of charge and offers:

  • Workshops taught by experts in SME leadership and management
  • One-to-one support to help you tackle your business issues
  • Networking with other early-stage business owners from the Midlands
  • SME case studies from business leaders talking about their growth journey
  • Guidance through the various external finance options available to you
  • Opportunity to pitch your growth strategy to external experts
  • Time to explore the strategic growth opportunities for your business


The core of the programme is a series of nine one-day workshops taking place over six months which cover topics relevant to leaders of growing SMEs including:

  • Strategy and business models
  • Opportunities and innovation
  • Managing business finances and options for external finance
  • Leadership, culture and people
  • Marketing strategies
  • Operations and processes

Workshops will take place at Aston University . The programme also includes five shorter, specialist workshops.

One-to-one support

Work with an experienced SME growth mentor. Your mentor will help you work on issues most relevant to your business and support you in developing your growth strategy.


  • SMEs must have an operational address within one or more of the following LEP regions:
    • Coventry and Warwickshire
    • Greater Birmingham and Solihull
  • Your business needs to have been trading for at least 12 months and have at least one FTE employee (this can include yourself). The programme is not suitable for start-ups
  • This programme is suitable for businesses that are in their early-stage with identifiable growth potential. Businesses from any sector will benefit, including social enterprises. Please note: Agriculture is not eligible for this programme due to funding restrictions
  • The applicant should be the founder or CEO of the business, and should be the person who is responsible for driving the growth strategy of the business
  • Your business needs to be an SME as defined by HMRC and meet the De Minimis State Aid criteria - received no more than 200,000 euros State Aid in the last 36 months

Participants need to make a significant commitment of time and effort to engage with the opportunities provided and are required to attend all workshops. 

Apply now

To apply, you need to submit an application form which is available by emailing: centreforgrowth@aston.ac.uk


Category: Business Growth