Small business support

Discover how we support the growth of SMEs and the local economy in the Liverpool City Region (LRC), and how your business can benefit from it.

Small Business Charter award

Management courses for SMEs

Fully funded student internships and projects

Events and networking


Small Business Charter award

Since 2014, our School has proudly maintained the prestigious Small Business Charter award by the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

This accreditation recognises our ongoing commitment to play an effective role in supporting small businesses, the local economy and student entrepreneurship in our region.

Small Business Charter award

If you own a small company, there are several ways we can help your business grow.

This includes courses to enhance your managerial skills, bursaries for student internships and placements, and networking events to connect you with our research community and other business leaders.


Management courses for SMEs

We offer practical courses aimed at boosting growth and innovation, including the Government funded Help To Grow: Management and the Growth Catalyst programme, as well as micro courses on specialist business areas.

These are practical programmes which will enable you to develop implementable strategies for the specific context of your organisation.

Help To Grow: Management

Next cohort: March 2024

Duration: 12 weeks

If you are a senior manager at a small or medium-sized business in the northwest, and want to take your leadership skills to the next level, this programme is ideally designed for you.

Help To Grow: Management is a 12 week 90% Government-funded business growth and management development programme aimed at enhancing your leadership skills.

This is a very practical fast paced course comprising 12 modules which cover key business and management topics, including finance, digitalisation, efficient operations and more.

The programme culminates in a tailored business plan to boosts the performance, resilience and long-term growth of your organisation, for which you will receive 10 additional hours of 1:1 mentor support.

Help To Grow: Management is open to any SMEs, including third sector organisations such as social enterprises and community interest companies (CICs), with the following characteristics:

  • Located in the Liverpool City Region, North Wales and Chester
  • 5-249 employees
  • Operational for at least one year

Find out more

Growth Catalyst

Next cohort: May 2024

Duration: 7 months

Growth Catalyst is a 7-month leadership development and business growth programme for owners and senior managers with strategic responsibility at small companies.

This is a UK Shared Prosperity Fund part-funded course, where you will learn how to tackle real-life organisational problems, enable business growth and improve your leadership skills.

Growth Catalyst is fully-funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and available for small businesses in Merseyside with 2-250 employees.

The programme is entirely practical and designed to provide you with hands-on tools and techniques to help you implement changes within your business right away.

This means there is not any work or assignments. Simply attend, learn and apply your new skills to the areas within your business that require attention or you would like to improve.

By successfully completing this programme you will also receive a Certificate in Leadership from the University of Liverpool.

Growth Catalyst is open to any SMEs, including third sector organisations such as social enterprises and community interest companies (CICs), with the following characteristics:

  • Located in the Liverpool City Region only (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Halton, St Helens, Knowsley)
  • 2-250 employees
  • Successfully completing the Growth Catalyst selection process following application

Find out more 


Fully funded student internships and projects

The University offers a range of business support to help you recruit students and graduates and keep talent in the LCR.

Liverpool Interns programme

Our student recruitment programme includes the opportunity for organisation employing between 2-250 people, to benefit from fully funded student internships via the University’s Liverpool Interns programme.

This initiative aims to support the human resourcing of local small businesses and the development of our students and graduates in the LRC, however the programme is open to SMEs based anywhere in the UK.

Companies entering the programme benefit from a 100 hours internship/projects delivered by a current student or recent graduate, fully funded through a bursary (one per business).

Find out more

Student business challenge

Is there a particular business issue you would like to explore, but you don’t have the time or resources to fully identify, explore and plan for new challenges and opportunities?

If that is the case, you can take in our student business challenge and benefit from the fresh thinking and skills of our talented students.

Based on a brief provided by you, our students will undertake an in-depth analysis of your specific business issue and produce detailed findings and managerial recommendations tailored to your organisation.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate students can take part in these projects, with varying levels of complexity and depth.

Get in touch to find out more


Events and networking

Running a small business can often feel lonely... We would love you to become part of our business network and benefit from networking with their peer small SME managers.

The University of Liverpool and the Management School have connections with a large number of business locally, nationally and internationally, from small and medium enterprises to large corporations.

We regularly organise Business Breakfast events where you can discover the latest updates in contemporary business topics and network with leaders from other organisations and expert researchers.

The School’s Research Centres also organise events aimed at discussing the research-based insights and guidance on how to deal with pressing challenges for business, policymakers and third sector organisations.

Subscribe to our newsletter to discover our upcoming events

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