The north has long been hailed as the industrious backbone of the UK, demonstrated with a government commitment of £3.4bn towards northern growth and iwoca, the alternative finance provider, more recently promising £100m worth of loans to small northern businesses. Going further north still, a new partnership seeks to nurture Scottish SMEs.
The University of Strathclyde and Be the Business, the business productivity initiative, have collaborated to launch the education programme ‘Productivity through People’. Designed for Scotland’s SME leaders to “work on the business not in the business,” the 12-month course plans to boost growth prospects of Scottish SMEs with access to the latest techniques on productivity and working practices from the research backing of the University of Strathclyde’s Business School.
Productivity through People will be an integration of classroom and practical learning to effectively create a peer network that builds communities with access to mentors. There will be an opportunity to work alongside fellow SMEs but also secure access to larger corporates that are supporting the programme, including the likes of GSK, Rolls-Royce, BAE Systems and John Lewis Partnership.
Commenting on the initiative, Tony Danker, chief executive of Be the Business, said: “Improving our businesses’ productivity is the UK’s single biggest economic challenge for the next decade. The Productivity through People programme has been specifically designed to help business leaders meet this challenge and drive improvements in their firms. If a lot of companies do just a little bit better it would add £130bn in value to the UK economy each year.”
With UK productivity climbing at its fastest rate in six years, there is no better time to oil the cogs of Scottish productivity.