Small businesses across the UK will benefit from stronger leadership and entrepreneurship skills to improve their overall productivity, thanks to eight innovative projects which received the green light this week.
Under the programme, eight local ‘anchor institutions’ across the UK will work with the government-backed UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) to pilot new ways to boost the leadership of small businesses.
Small businesses will have a chance to benefit from a range of new management development opportunities, from mentoring programmes to online leadership training, all designed exclusively for them.
The projects are part of the UK Futures Programme, run by UKCES. Each is trialling innovative ways to improve the productivity of small businesses in their local community by boosting their leadership and entrepreneurship skills. In particular the projects will identify new ways to help small businesses who haven’t previously had any leadership or entrepreneurial training.
Each anchor institution has a strong local presence and commitment to their community. The institutions UKCES will be working with include Chambers of Commerce, Universities, Colleges, Councils, Enterprise Agencies, Learning Partnerships and Business Schools, in conjunction with local employers.
Julie Kenny CBE DL, founder of Pyronix Ltd, a leading small business in the security sector, and Commissioner at UKCES commented: “Small businesses form the backbone of the UK economy. Yet constraints on their time and resources mean they are the least likely to develop the leadership and management skills that will help them grow.
“Owner managers and senior leaders of small companies need to spend their time and money wisely, and see clear benefits from the start. Current training programmes are often too broad or vague to be usefully applied in the real world. Simply gaining access to good programmes can also be difficult – for instance if you operate in a more rural area.
“We need new ways to reach these businesses, and we need solutions that are relevant to each small firm. The anchor institutions we will be working with have demonstrated a strong understanding of the specific issues that small businesses face in their local community. They have also shown that they have the ability to reach out to businesses who often find themselves excluded from national programmes.”