Programme expanded to help another 1,000 micro-businesses

Olivia Reilly, owner of Little Boat Gifts in Essex signed up for the Small and Mighty Programme to help boost growth for her small business

Small Business Britain’s popular ‘Small and Mighty Enterprise Programme’ is being expanded to help 1,000 more small businesses across the UK as applications open for its next round.

The Small and Mighty Enterprise programme aims to supercharge Britain’s smallest firms as they face ongoing economic challenges. It is offered free to sole traders and micro businesses, in partnership with global small business platform Xero and new university ARU Peterborough.

Set to return in September, this will be the third and largest programme of its kind, since it launched last autumn with an ambition to boost the growth prospects of the UK’s smallest businesses.

Originally founded to fill the gaps in the support offered to sole traders and microbusinesses –  which aren’t always suited to or eligible for other forms of support such as the Government-backed Help to Grow scheme – the course offers targeted skills support for small firms over a six-week period.

Kathryn Hibberd-Little, left, owner of The Mug Tree Tea Room in East Grinstead who took part in the course in the Spring, said: “Not only does it connect small businesses in a brilliant, supportive network, but the advice and coaching offered is so relevant, helpful and applicable.”

Delivered entirely online, the course is designed to fit around existing work commitments and offer inclusive and flexible learning. Guidance is offered from ARU Peterborough academics and other expert trainers, alongside opportunities for group and individual mentoring, as well as help to draft a growth plan.

Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain, said: “We are delighted to be bringing back this programme, to be bigger and better than ever. There continues to be a massive need to support the UK’s very smallest firms, who make up the bulk of the UK economy and represent huge opportunity for growth. But they can often face a difficult and unclear path, with limited support. Small and Mighty is designed to change this by offering business owners relevant, targeted help to navigate the route to growth.”

Entrepreneurs will receive weekly expert teaching on topics from business strategy and marketing, to finance and resilience, including touching on guidance around new ‘Making Tax Digital’ legislation. Each business on the Small and Mighty Enterprise programme will also have access to a supportive online network of small businesses taking part in the programme, and former alumni, for peer-to-peer insight, advice and networking.

Alex von Schirmeister, Managing Director at Xero UK said: “Small businesses do so much for our communities, but we need to make life better for their owners. I can’t think of a better initiative in the UK than this one and we’ve seen first-hand what a tremendous impact it can have. Following the journey of business owners throughout it was uplifting and inspiring and we can’t wait to meet the new cohort.”

Dr Tom Williamson, Assistant Principal of ARU Peterborough, said: “We’re delighted to be continuing our successful collaboration with Small Business Britain on this fantastic programme. ARU Peterborough’s experts in business, management and finance have now helped a huge number of small businesses to ‘think big’, and we can’t wait to help a new group of microbusiness owners as part of this important programme.”

Small businesses can apply to take part in the programme here