The entrepreneurial community is never shy of championing small enterprise, which is why you can scarcely go anywhere without hearing how important small businesses are to the future economic health of our country. If we’re going to get Blighty back up and at ‘em, then we need a gameplan to get small enterprises growing. Fortunately, we may have found just that – an independent report of the first 250 companies to have completed the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme has yielded some very positive results.
Produced by five leading academic institutions – Saïd Business School, Aston Business School, Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and UCL – the Stimulating Small Business Growth report surveyed the first set of alumni of the intensive four month course.
Of the 250 participants, over three-quarters created net new jobs compared to a national average for small businesses of less than a quarter. And whilst the average number of UK businesses growing revenue was 35%, 66% of those passing through the programme increased their revenues. A whopping 92% of entrants to the scheme felt it had helped them become more confident in their ability to grow their business and 83% introduced new internal processes. At the close of the scheme, more than four-fifths of companies had an enhanced understanding of the external finance options that were available.
Mark Hart, co-author of the report and professor of small business and entrepreneurship in Aston Business School, said: “Small businesses are not only big job creators, they are critical to driving long term economic growth. The 10,000 Small Businesses alumni are showing what can be done – against a backdrop of little growth in the UK economy, they are delivering additional jobs and revenue, and demonstrating the value of business support based on peer learning and communities of regional and national entrepreneurs.”
It’s hard to deny, in the face of results like these, that investing a little in our small businesses can have a huge payoff for the economy. Roll on the next 250.