10,000 Small Businesses

How Shadow Robot Company Found Its Dexterity

Rich Walker has been working in robotics for more than 20 years and found himself surprisingly in the position of running the Shadow Robot Company in 2008 after the founders no longer wanted to run the business. Based in London, Shadow develops advanced robotic solutions and systems. Its key product is a robotic hand that offers the same dexterity as the human hand and can be deployed in a variety of difficult and dangerous environments, including for maintenance and production tasks in the nuclear industry and laboratory work in hazardous microbiology.

Shadow has achieved year-on-year growth through internal investment and support from its founders. It has clients all over the world and is continuing to expand in a growing market. Walker’s vision is for Shadow to become the leading robotics company, enabling people to use systems his business has developed to solve problems across a wide range of challenges.

"When I saw the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program I thought this was a great opportunity to get the set of skills I needed in the framework of good business practice and management, and enable us to build the strength of the business to take advantage of opportunities in the future," he said.

"The 10,000 Small Businesses program has given me the tools to understand how to grow a business, what you have to put in place, how you have to do it and also the confidence to actually attack those challenges. The program has had a very definite effect on me and hence on the business."

Goldman Sachs recognizes that small businesses like Walker’s play an integral role in driving economic growth in the U.K. So far, the 10,000 Small Businesses program has trained over 350 entrepreneurs in Great Britain and is on track to reach over 600 by the end of 2013.

The program, which was designed by leading international, national and local experts in entrepreneurship, is delivered through a network of expert partners who combine academic expertise and practical experience working with small business owners. Our partners include the Oxford-Said Business School, Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University, Aston Business School and University College London.

"Encouraging entrepreneurial activity in the U.K. is vital to the health of our economy. We know that small businesses and social enterprises are an engine of job creation," said Michael Sherwood, Vice Chairman of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs International. "We introduced the 10,000 Small Businesses program in the U.K. so that we can help these inspiring businesses and organizations maximize their potential."