Free support offered to businesses to boost growth through tech

tech support from Nottingham business school
Credit: Shutterstock.com/ SFIO CRACHO

Microbusinesses looking to boost productivity through technology, such as tracking customer behaviour, converting sales leads or making the most of social media, can access free support from Nottingham Business School (NBS), part of Nottingham Trent University.

Organisations which employ up to nine people are being invited to take part in a workshop on using existing technologies to improve efficiency and profitability. Selected businesses can also benefit from one-to-one coaching with an expert to support them with their challenge.

NBS, which is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary, is part of a consortium of business schools delivering the Leading to Grow programme.

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.

The half day workshop – taking place on either 6 and 11 March 2020 – can help businesses to find simple ways to implement technology in their organisation, helping to better manage relationships with customers, track stock, finances and sales, and reduce administrative mistakes, for instance.

Dr Lynn Oxborrow, Principal Lecturer in Small Business and Supply Chain Management at NBS, said: “In 2019 alone, Nottingham Business School provided free support to over 350 local businesses. The businesses we support range from start-ups, micro business and family firms to fast growth businesses employing 100’s of people.

“This project supports micro businesses that have not previously engaged with the Business School.

“At our first workshop, the SMEs had a very lively discussion and all took away some new ideas and actions from their experience of spending time thinking about business, talking to our technology expert and learning from other participants.”

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 is an important part of the support we offer.”

To join the Leading to Grow Programme, businesses must:

  • Be a formally registered business (i.e. the business must have a VAT number, or PAYE number, or Companies house registration) and have a trading history of three years or more
  • Employ between 1 and 9 people
  • Not have participated on any other business school programme targeted at raising productivity within the last 12 months

Social enterprises are eligible as long as there is demonstrable traded income.