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Loughborough Dean supports SME report at Downing Street

Professor Angus Laing

Professor Angus Laing has championed the role business schools play in supporting local businesses at the launch of Lord Young’s Growing Your Business report held today at 10 Downing Street.

Professor Laing, who is Dean of Loughborough University’s School of Business and Economics and Chair of the Association of Business Schools (ABS), was a key advisor for the report, and addressed an audience this morning alongside the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Advisor Lord Young, and serial entrepreneur James Caan.

In the report, Lord Young stresses the importance micro businesses (less than 10 employees) have on the success of the UK economy. He recommends business schools should play a larger role locally by supporting local SMEs as advisors and providers of highly qualified graduate employees.

The report recommends the creation of a national "Supporting Small Business Charter", and an award scheme for business schools that support the growth of SMEs. The report also recommends the extension of the existing Start-Up Loans and creation of new Growth Vouchers.

The Government has stated it is in support of this proposal and will work with the ABS to develop and deliver the charter and awards scheme.

Professor Laing said:

“I welcome Lord Young’s proposals and am in complete agreement with him that business schools have the potential to be invaluable resources to small business.

“Indeed, Loughborough University and other UK business schools are already doing excellent work with small business, but we need to harness the best of this work so that small firms recognise and benefit from what we and others can offer.

“We want to get to a point where small firms recognise business schools as ‘go-to’ resources in key areas of management and leadership skills.”

Lord Young said:

“We have one of the best environments in the world for the creation of new firms. What this report endeavours to do is to help and encourage all those new firms to now take on their first employees and grow.

“Growing our smallest businesses would transform our economy – they are the vital 95%. If just half of the UK's micro businesses took on an additional member of staff, unemployment would be reduced to almost zero. We need to raise the aspirations and confidence of these businesses and give them the tools to grow.”       

The full Growing Your Business report can be viewed here: