Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Free programme to help Britain‘s microbusinesses

Published: 12 March 2024 at 13:24

External view of University House building on the ARU Peterborough campus

ARU Peterborough experts are making a big difference to country’s smallest firms

ARU Peterborough business experts are playing a key role in a programme to support some of the UK’s 5.2 million microbusinesses by providing free advice to help them weather economic challenges.

Small Business Britain’s Small and Mighty Enterprise Programme has already trained 1,700 sole traders and microbusinesses across the UK.

And now the programme is returning – once again in partnership with ARU Peterborough and global small business platform Xero – to supercharge Britain’s smallest firms and help them find new avenues for growth.

Founder of Small Business Britain, Michelle Ovens CBE, has emphasised the need for targeted help for microbusinesses. Michelle said: “The smallest firms are particularly vulnerable in today’s economic climate, further exacerbated by the challenges posed by the UK recession. These businesses need targeted support to not just survive but thrive. They are the backbone of our economy and represent the future of our nation’s prosperity.

“However, the path to growth isn’t always clear-cut or straightforward when you are working on your own or within a very small team. The goal of this programme is to provide really targeted, helpful guidance that recognises these challenges, and is delivered in a flexible, free format so it is accessible for all.”

Commencing in April, the six-week programme will be delivered fully online with guidance from ARU Peterborough academics and other experts. It is designed to fit around existing work commitments and offers inclusive and flexible learning, as well as mentoring and peer-to-peer support.

Entrepreneurs will receive weekly expert teaching on topics from business strategy and marketing to finance and resilience, along with two hours of free mentoring. 

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, and receive guidance to create an action plan. 

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

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

“ARU Peterborough’s experts in business, management and finance helped 1,700 small businesses to ‘think big’ last autumn, and we can’t wait to help a new group of microbusiness owners as part of this important programme.”


Alex von Schirmeister, Managing Director UK of Xero, said:

“It's tough for businesses at the moment, especially the smallest ones. We know from our own research that unleashing the potential of the UK's smallest businesses could add so much to our economy. That's why programmes like Small & Mighty are critical and we can't wait to help more microbusinesses take the next step on their journey."


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

ARU Peterborough is a partnership between Anglia Ruskin University, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, and Peterborough City Council.