By Daniel Hunter

A new report produced by five leading academic institutions examining the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses programme reveals how small businesses could be the key to getting the UK economy back on its feet - if its high growth small businesses can realize their full potential and catch up with their international counterparts.

The report, entitled Stimulating Small Business Growth, charts the rise of the first 250 businesses to have completed the intensive 4 month Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme.

Data collected independently from programme alumni, and published in the progress report, indicates that the intervention is helping participants grow jobs and turnover.

Of those small businesses surveyed:

· 77% reported that they were employing more people than 12 months previously
· 66% had increased their turnover year-on-year
· 53% had increased profitability
· 92% of the participants were more confident in their ability to grow their business

The report highlights that the programme is creating regional and national networks of ambitious business owners who provide support to one another - increasing confidence, morale and resilience and creating new business opportunities. This community now numbers almost 500 entrepreneurs in four regions across the UK (Yorkshire, North West, Midlands, London). Over half of participants have found new clients for their businesses through this community.

“Small businesses are not only big job creators, they are critical to driving long term economic growth," Mark Hart, co-author of the report and Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship in Aston Business School, said.

"The 10,000 Small Businesses alumni are showing what can be done - against a backdrop of little growth in the UK economy, they are delivering additional jobs andrevenue, and demonstrating the value of business support based on peer learning and communities of regional and national entrepreneurs.”

The initiative, which is supported by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, is designed for the leaders of established small businesses who have the appetite and potential to grow their enterprises. Participants benefit from a high quality, comprehensive package of support and expertise to help them take their businesses to the next level.

Join us on
Follow @freshbusiness