University leadership programme to provide support for small business owners during pandemic

Date published: 20 January 2021

A national leadership programme providing free support and expertise to small and medium sized businesses, designed to help owners and leaders through the Covid-19 crisis, will be delivered by Manchester Metropolitan University Business School.

Manchester Metropolitan is part of a national consortium of Small Business Charter-awarded universities delivering the Small Business Leadership Programme to eligible businesses in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington, Cumbria, Lancashire and the Liverpool City Region.

There is no cost involved to businesses as the programme is part of a £20 million government package to help small businesses make a strong recovery from the impacts of Covid-19 and develop their long-term potential.

Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, it aims to support the resilience, recovery and growth of SMEs during and after the pandemic.

Mandy Parkinson, Head of Business and Public Engagement at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has put untold pressure on small companies. With more than 5.9 million SMEs across the UK employing 16 million people, it is vital that we support small businesses and enable them to face the coming months with confidence and strength.

“It for this reason that we are pleased to offer the Small Business Leadership Programme to organisations across the North West, as we are a Small Business Charter university. We believe that working with our experts and their peers can support SME business leaders to create the opportunities to recover, survive and thrive during and after the global pandemic.”

The programme will be delivered by small business experts from Manchester Metropolitan’s triple-accredited Business School through a series of eight 90-minute online sessions and peer-to-peer learning over 10 weeks.

Each session will support business leaders and their organisation through the pandemic, sharing expertise on how to not only survive, but ultimately grow. 

The programme encompasses all the key components that businesses need to consider in the current climate from innovation to financial planning, marketing and employee engagement.

Paul Hornby, Managing Director of Foilco, a leading supplier of stamping foil shades and finishes, completed the Small Business Leadership Programme in 2020.

He said: “Being a business owner can be a lonely place at times, especially when you are looking to develop areas of skills or just having the opportunity to run ideas past other people in the same position.

“The Small Business Leadership Programme provided the best of both these worlds. It helped me to improve my skills and aligned this with discussions with fellow business leaders, who are outside of my industry with no conflict of interest but with lots of common business needs and wants.”

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully, added: “I know from my own experience of running small businesses just how valuable the advice and experience of experts and peers can be when you are looking to grow your company.

“The strength of small businesses up and down the country will be vital as we begin to bounce back from Coronavirus and re-build our economy. These schemes will help equip small business leaders with the leadership, resilience and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.”

The next courses at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School begin on 27 January, 8 and 9 February.

To register your interest visit the Manchester Metropolitan University website​.

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