The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is now accepting applications for Cohort 3, which will begin January 2018.

Application Deadline: 25th October
Interview Date: 29th November


Aston Programme for Small Business Growth

The six-month programme provides practical workshops taught by experts in SME leadership and management, and one-to-one support from an experienced business mentor.

The Aston Programme for Small Business Growth is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is free for SMEs who have an operational address within the Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull or The Marches (transitional area only… Telford and Shropshire) LEP regions.

Please note businesses in retail or agriculture sectors are not eligible for this programme.

You’ll be pleased to know that the process of applying is really very simple. It should take approx. 30 minutes to complete the application form. By you completing the form it gives us an insight into the nature of your business and how you would like it to grow.

If you are confident that you are eligible and would like to apply please, complete and return the attached application form to  before the next deadline date.

The Shortlisting Process

The panel will read all of the applications and select a shortlist to interview.
If your application is shortlisted you will be invited to attend an interview.
If successful at interview stage; you will be granted a place on the programme.

Cohort 3

Duration              : 6-months
Workshops          : 9 Workshops, usually fortnightly (mid-week)
Duration              : Workshops currently run between 1pm – 7pm
Mentor                 : Up to 15 hours face to face, one-to-one support from an experienced business mentor

We understand that businesses usually find it useful to set-up in the morning and so, we give the leeway to enable this by starting the workshops later on in the day. If you feel differently, let us know, we take all feedback constructively and tailor each programme to suit the different group of businesses enrolled per cohort.

Core Workshops (Dates of each core workshop below)

Growth and Goals
Opportunities and Innovation
Finance for the Business Leader
Culture and People
Marketing Strategies
Operations and Processes
Options for External Finance
Presenting your Growth Strategy

Additional workshops

In addition to the workshops listed above, a small number of additional shorter workshops will be delivered across the duration of the programme. These workshops will provide additional value to the programme and some will be bespoke according to the cohort needs.

Want to find out more?

To book a phone meeting with a member of the team please contact:

Vicci Hogan         : Programme Engagement Manager
Direct Line           : 0121 204 5023
Email                    :

Main Office         : 0121 204 3225
Email                    :

APFSBG Breakfast Meetings

We have recently run breakfast meetings in each of our LEP regions (Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, Greater Birmingham and Solihull and The Marches) to offer businesses that are potentially interested in applying for programme the opportunity to meet the team, hear in more detail what the programme entails, ask questions and receive application support.

Breakfast Meeting Date: To be confirmed.


Application Form – Aston Programme for Small Business Growth

Aston Programme for Small Business Growth – Brochure

Core Workshop Dates – Cohort 3




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