Small businesses hit by the pandemic to access support from University of Derby Business School

6 August 2020

The University of Derby Business School is working with the Small Business Charter to deliver a specialised government funded programme for leaders of small businesses to survive and thrive in the coming months and post coronavirus.

This new scheme comes as part of a £20million package the government is providing to help small businesses in the long term.

To aid business resilience and future growth in the current climate, the Small Business Leadership Programme will create peer groups to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance.

Derby Business School was accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC) in January 2020, a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

Coronavirus has put untold pressure on directors and CEOs of small companies trying to navigate unchartered waters. According to a recent McKinsey online survey of UK SMEs, 80 percent of small businesses reported their revenues were declining in June in 2020.

The government has made up to £30 billion available to support economic recovery ahead of the Autumn and businesses can continue to draw upon a range of financial support during this challenging time, including loans, tax deferrals and cash grants. The SBLP will help businesses to bounce back from the impact of coronavirus and prepare for any future disruption.

Speaking about the Small Business Leadership Programme, Professor Kamil Omoteso, Pro Vice-Chancellor  Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University of Derby, said: “I am delighted that the University of Derby is working with the Small Business Leadership Programme to aid economic recovery and support small businesses affected by Covid-19.

“Across the region we have a high number of sectors affected by the pandemic and we are working closely with the city and the county to tackle its impact. Our aim is to support the re-skilling of people post-Covid, help businesses access our large talent pool of students and graduates, and share our expertise and funding to take the knowledge created within the University and embed it in businesses, partnerships and other organisations to help them innovate and grow.”

The practical syllabus provides business leaders with access to small business and management experts from Derby Business School. The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully funded by the Government to enhance small business resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and develop potential for future growth and productivity.

The short and focused programme will be delivered online through a structured course of eight 90-minute webinars over the course of 10 weeks and will provide the knowledge needed for businesses to tackle crisis situations. It will also give businesses the opportunity to strengthen their business network.  Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance.

Anne Kiem OBE, CEO of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, said: “As we continue to grapple with the Coronavirus crisis it is also essential we look long term to ensure small businesses are supported to build resilience, survival and growth. Business schools can provide the expertise and knowledge all business owners and directors need to continue to thrive in uncertain times.”

Small Business Minister, Paul Scully, said: “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. The Small Business Leadership Programme will help to equip small business leaders with the leadership and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.” 


Find out more about the Small Business Leadership Programme and how to apply here.