Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Boosting Central Bedfordshire’s businesses

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

We're working with Cranfield School of Management to create an innovative scholarship programme to support the growth of local businesses.

Thanks to funding we've provided, up to 90 small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses will be able to apply for scholarships places on Cranfield’s leading business growth courses Ready For Scale and the highly regarded Business Growth Programme.

Contributing 47% of revenue to the UK economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a key role in boosting productivity – but need support to expand business and increase impact.

The Economic and Social Research Council policy statement includes:

The overall entrepreneurial ecosystem needs to be nurtured to encourage greater growth ambition among SMEs. This could be supported through the establishment of public-private partnerships delivering high-quality SME business support.

The role of national and local government is crucial in supporting and encouraging SMEs.

Cranfield’s Business Growth Programme is the UK’s longest running programme for owner-managers looking to take their business to the next stage, helping them to create the future they want for the business and for themselves. Ready For Scale supports micro and small enterprises to develop the skills to help their business to take the leap on its growth trajectory and to transform their businesses.

Businesses can apply for these fully funded scholarship places today by visiting Cranfield School of Management.

Councillor Kevin Collins, our Executive Member for Planning and Regeneration said:

Despite restrictions easing, we are still living through the COVID-19 pandemic and our Economic Strategy acknowledges those challenges and the need to support businesses and individuals most affected.

To this end, we are continuing to deliver relevant support to our businesses by engaging with our intermediaries. We are delighted to offer this opportunity to our businesses via Cranfield University to support them to realise their full potential through the well renowned Business Growth and Ready for Scale programmes.

I encourage businesses to engage and apply for the scholarship support to ensure their place on the programmes.

Councillor David Shelvey, our Executive Member for Corporate Resources said:

Thanks to the government’s Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) for wider business support, we are delighted to be able to offer these funded scholarships to relevant businesses to realise their full ambitions and further add to the local economy.

Companies who are awarded either of these programmes with Cranfield University will no doubt find them both beneficial and enhance their business performance and enable faster growth.

Dr Stephanie Hussels, Director of the Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship, said:

Small businesses are critical to the UK economy and we have some fantastic examples in Central Bedfordshire. We are looking forward to supporting them develop, grow and realise their ambitions.

Our business growth programmes are centred entirely on the reality of small and medium businesses – their current challenges, their opportunities, their future goals and ambitions. Because of this, the journey and the way the learnings are applied, as well as the benefits gained are unique to each business.