About the Programme

The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme is designed to provide high-quality, practical education and business support to leaders of high-growth small businesses and social enterprises across the country.

These small businesses play a vital role in creating jobs and driving economic growth in the UK through innovation and market expansion. Social enterprises are also increasingly contributing to UK economic and community development through sustainable business models that are less dependent on traditional grant funding.

After extensive research, Goldman Sachs launched the 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme in 2010 to specifically address the support gap for small enterprises, helping them to unlock the economic and job creation potential of their businesses. The programme is designed by leading experts and is run in partnership with the Said Business School at Oxford University, the Aston Centre for Growth at Aston University, Leeds University Business School at University of Leeds, and the Manchester Metropolitan University Business School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

How it Works

The programme brings together leaders of small businesses from across industry sectors and creates unique networking and peer learning opportunities.

For those small business leaders selected to participate, the core of the programme is a high quality, practically-focused business and management education, delivered over 100 hours through a blend of online and in-person residential sessions. The curriculum has been designed specifically for this programme by world-class international and national experts in entrepreneurial learning.

The programme will include three residential sessions and will rotate between residential and online learning. The online curriculum has been developed to meet your needs and the online platform will provide you ultimate flexibility as a small business owner. 

During the course of the programme every small business owner develops a customised Growth Plan to direct their organisation’s business strategy and expansion.

The success of the program is contributed to the right balance of formal learning, mentoring, and peer-to-peer support. Participants of the programme will benefit from: 

  • Specialist workshops
  • One-on-one business advising
  • Business coaching
  • Access to professional experts
  • Networking opportunities and
  • A network of 10,000 Small Business graduates


The programme is offered on a fully funded basis to small businesses and social enterprise leaders who desire to grow their businesses, create local employment and have scalable business models. This programme is not intended for start-up businesses, sole traders or businesses that are not seeking to grow.

The following eligibility criteria also apply:

  • The applicant must be the primary owner / co-owner of the business, or the most senior decision-maker if the business is not limited by shares
  • The business must have been operating for at least three years and will generally have between five and 40 employees
  • The business should have an annual turnover of at least £250,000
  • Social enterprise applicants must be commercially operated businesses that achieve their social purpose through trading rather than grant funding
  • The business must be scalable and capable of generating additional local employment
  • Applicants should not have extensive recent management education
  • Preference will be given to those businesses operating in or on behalf of disadvantaged communities or regeneration areas