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ARU Peterborough to help small firms think big

Published: 14 March 2023 at 12:30

Front of University House at ARU Peterborough

Experts to provide support through Small and Mighty Enterprise Programme

ARU Peterborough is supporting sole traders and micro businesses across the UK with a scheme that provides free, targeted assistance to help them plan ahead and boost their growth.

Small Business Britain’s Small and Mighty Enterprise Programme, aimed at helping to supercharge Britain’s smallest firms, is run in conjunction with ARU Peterborough and in partnership with global small business platform Xero. 

Designed for the UK’s 5.2 million micro businesses that aren't always suited to or eligible for other forms of support, the programme aims to assist the UK’s smallest businesses in finding new avenues for growth through expert guidance from ARU Peterborough academics, mentoring and peer-to-peer support.

Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain, said:

“Small businesses continue to face a raft of challenges, and the very tiniest firms are particularly susceptible to the headwinds we are seeing now in the economy and need targeted support to recover and grow in this climate.

“These smaller businesses make up the bulk of the UK economy and literally represent the seeds of our future economy. However, the route to growth isn’t always obvious or straightforward when you are working on your own or in a very small team. The aim of this programme is to provide really targeted, helpful guidance that acknowledges these challenges and is delivered in a flexible, free format.”


ARU Peterborough – a partnership between Anglia Ruskin University, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, and Peterborough City Council – helped 300 small business in the autumn as part of the last year’s Small and Mighty Enterprise Programme. 

Kicking off again in April, the six-week course will be delivered online and is designed to fit around existing work commitments. It offers inclusive and flexible learning, along with two hours of mentoring. 

Dr Tom Williamson, Assistant Principal of ARU Peterborough, said:

“We’re delighted to be continuing our successful collaboration with Small Business Britain and their fantastic Small & Mighty Enterprise programme. 

“ARU Peterborough’s experts in business, management and finance helped 300 small businesses to ‘think big’ last autumn, and we can’t wait to help a new group of micro business owners as part of this important programme.”


Leisa Pickles, owner of Find Me the Leads took part in last year’s Small & Mighty programme to support in planning her business evolution in 2023. Leisa said:

“The modules were well-structured, and I was easily able to fit this around the day-to-day running of my business. 

“The sessions with other small business owners were inspiring, and a reminder that anything is possible with the right planning. On top of this I benefited from free mentoring, which was a great resource for clarifying the future direction of my business. I would recommend the programme to any small business, whether starting out, scaling, or seeking a change.”


Entrepreneurs will receive weekly expert teaching on topics from business strategy and marketing, to finance and resilience, including touching on guidance around new ’Making Tax Digital’ legislation. 

Jo Copestake, Director, small business at Xero, said:

“Despite the huge contribution micro businesses make to the UK economy, their needs are still underserved. It’s important we address this, and it’s a privilege to be working with Small Business Britain to help this group discover and unlock new routes to growth. Amazing things can happen when entrepreneurs are given the right tools and support to harness their potential.”


Each business on the Small and Mighty Enterprise programme will also have access to a supportive network of small businesses to share questions, challenges and solutions as they take action on their plan for growth.

Small businesses can sign up to take part in the programme at https://smallbusinessbritain.uk/small-and-mighty