LEADERS of small businesses are being offered free coaching in how to set up their organisations to recover and grow after the pandemic.

Solent University’s Solent Business School is to deliver the Small Business Leadership Programme, which is being offered across England as part of a £20million government package.

Professor Karen Stanton, vice-chancellor of Solent University, said: “We recognise the key role we have to play in both promoting and supporting an economic revival. Here at Solent, we are committed to doing what we can to support businesses, large and small, to survive and thrive in these difficult times.

“We recently launched our Business Recovery Commitment, pledging ourselves to work alongside the business sector to provide practical help as well as smart thinking, research and knowledge exchange that will have a real impact.

“This new package from the government will enable us to strengthen our commitment to support the business community.”

The initiative is being run by the Small Business Charter and will create peer groups to develop stronger leadership, innovation, operational efficiency, marketing and finance.

Its syllabus will offer business leaders access to Solent Business School experts in small business and management. The programme is free and fully funded by the government.

It will be delivered through eight 90-minute webinars over 10 weeks and is aimed at providing the knowledge needed for businesses to tackle crisis situations and strengthen their networks.

Participants will be encouraged to develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost performance.

Anne Kiem, executive director of the Small Business Charter, said: “As we continue to grapple with the coronavirus crisis it is also essential 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.”

The government’s small business minister, Paul Scully, said: “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.”

For details or to register, visit smallbusinesscharter.org/sblp