University joins government Covid-19 support partnership


Lancaster University has become part of a new government partnership set up to support Lancashire and Cumbria SMEs hit by the impact of Covid-19.

The announcement comes as part of a £20m package announced to support the recovery and growth of small and medium-sized businesses following the pandemic.

Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) will be delivering the Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP) run by the Small Business Charter (SBC).

The programme, rolled out through business schools across England, aims to help leaders make their businesses more resilient and productive for the long-term.

The free programme will be delivered by the Centre for Executive Training and Development (CeTAD) in LUMS.

The course builds on LUMS’ extensive experience of delivering knowledge, expertise and training to the regions SMEs.

Professor Angus Laing, Dean of LUMS, said: “We are delighted to participate in the delivery of the Small Business Leadership Programme.

“It will complement our existing significant work with SMEs through the wide range of programmes which we deliver for SMEs, including Productivity through People and Made Smarter.

“Our leading role in the development of these programmes, coupled with our extensive legacy over the last two decades of supporting SMEs, means that we will bring cutting-edge research and practice insight into the delivery of the programme.”

SBLP will be delivered online through eight 90-minute webinars over the course of 10 weeks.

It will provide the knowledge needed for businesses to tackle crisis situations. It will also give businesses the opportunity to strengthen their business network.  

Those taking part will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance

To aid business resilience and future growth in the current climate, SBLP will create peer groups to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance.

Coronavirus has put untold pressure on directors and chief executives of small companies trying to navigate uncharted waters.

According to a recent McKinsey online survey of UK SMEs, 80 per cent of small businesses reported their revenues were declining in June.

The SBLP aims to help businesses to bounce back from the impact of coronavirus and prepare for any future disruption.

Anne Kiem, chief executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools and SBC executive director, said: “As we continue to grapple with the Coronavirus crisis it is also essential that we look long term to ensure small businesses are supported to build resilience, survival and growth.

“Business schools can provide the expertise and knowledge all business owners and directors need to continue to thrive in uncertain times.”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully, added: “The strength of small businesses up and down the country will be vital as we begin to bounce back from coronavirus and re-build our economy.

“The Small Business Leadership Programme will help to equip small business leaders with the leadership and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.”

The first LUMS SBLP course will start in October 2020, with further cohorts in December 2020 and January 2021. For more details and to register, visit: