Greater Manchester Universities launch programme to boost SME growth

Categories: Salford Business School

Funding has been secured to ensure more micro and small businesses in the region can access OPEN SME: the online support platform available 24/7. The OPEN SME platform was launched in March 2022 and has seen over 400 businesses access and utilise the content.

The funding will support the development of brand-new content and a refresh of existing materials and tools to allow businesses to continue to access the platform and unlock even more practical tips to help continue to grow.

With topics such as Finance, People, Markets and Models and Digital, OPEN SME offers bite-sized learning and practical tools to assess and improve your business. OPEN SME brings some of the best business minds in the city together to provide small business support on mobile, tablet or laptop. On the tram on the way to the office, at home, when the kids are in bed, or when you get five minutes peace at the weekend: OPEN SME brings university best practices to your fingertips.

Funded by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and delivered by the University of Salford, University of Manchester, University of Bolton and Manchester Metropolitan University, the programme forms part of the offering from Salford’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation. The Centre launched in January 2024 to help bridge the gap between academia and business.

Dr Ann Mulhaney, Associate Professor at Salford Business School’s Centre for Sustainable Innovation, commented: “OPEN SME is a great opportunity for local microbusinesses to access support. This population is often underrepresented in the support ecosystem and OPEN SME allows them to work on their businesses when it best suits them. Working together in this consortia has been truly groundbreaking and it is fantastic that we have secured the funding to continue.”

Professor Jennie Shorley, Academic Director at Centre for Enterprise, Manchester Metropolitan University, commented “We are thrilled to be able to not only continue to offer this fantastic resource to businesses across Greater Manchester but also improve the user experience and offer new content to further help them in the current climate. Having worked with many business leaders we know how important it is to allow them to access support regardless of location and schedule and that is what OPEN SME does.”

Find out more or register for OPEN SME.

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.