Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Nottingham Business School awarded government funding to help microbusinesses use tech to grow

Nottingham Business School (NBS) has been awarded funding to support 50 microbusinesses to engage with technology to boost their productivity.

NBS, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, is part of a consortium of business schools which will deliver the programme. NBS holds Small Business Charter accreditation for its expertise in supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Leading to Grow Programme will be offered at no cost to microbusinesses across England.

Businesses which employ up to nine people will be able to apply to take part in workshops on utilising existing technologies to improve efficiency and profitability.

The funding has been made available through the government’s £8m Business Basics Programme run by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK.

Due to the small size and the dispersed nature of microbusinesses, they have not routinely received planned interventions by government agencies. The government is now targeting this type of business due to their potential and readiness to scale-up, and this is the first time that such a programme has been coordinated across the country.

With so many areas being covered it is hoped that this free programme will help a large number of microbusinesses and support economic growth in a number of regions.

The UK’s 1.1 million microbusinesses employ more than four million people and contribute £533bn to the UK economy. The business schools, the Small Business Charter and the government hope to make a real impact on this important part of the economy.

In June 2019 NBS’ Small Business Charter reaccreditation was renewed for another five years. Its award winning Thinkubator Challenge, which sees students come together to tackle real business issues, was highlighted as an exemplar in the sector. Over the past six years, NBS staff and students have tackled a total of 260 business challenges via Thinkubator, with 80% of these coming from small businesses.

Dean of Nottingham Business School, Professor Baback Yazdani, said:

“At NBS, we have a 40-year history of providing education and research that combines academic excellence with real impact on business, and shaping business through transforming people and organisations with collaborative work. This innovative Leading to Grow Programme will become an important part of the support we offer.” 

Anne Kiem, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said:

"We are excited to be working with business schools to help improve the productivity of a range of microbusinesses. The pace of technological advances means that today’s small firms who embrace innovation will be tomorrow’s success stories”

For further information on Leading to Grow at NBS please email

This year’s Thinkubator takes place on Wednesday 13 November. To find out more and to submit a challenge, visit

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