Cable’s praise for mentoring scheme giving support to small companies

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BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable has praised a business mentoring scheme which has helped dozens of Yorkshire companies to grow during the recession.

Mr Cable met Viv Parry, the founder of Leeds-based Exquisite Handmade Cakes, along with other entrepreneurs who had received support from the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses UK programme.

In 2010, Goldman Sachs announced that it was funding a business education programme in Yorkshire to help small businesses grow during the worst financial crisis in generations.

More than 100 small business owners and social enterprise leaders have either already graduated or are enrolled on the programme in Leeds.

Under the programme, entrepreneurs go on a four-month business and management course which has an emphasis on real-life practical experience. Yesterday, Goldman Sachs announced the launch of an alumni network for entrepreneurs who have participated in the scheme,

Mr Cable said: “More than 99 per cent of UK businesses are small and medium enterprises, so I welcome Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses UK initiative as a real contributor to the wider support available.”

Michelle Pinggera, chief of staff EMEA for Goldman Sachs, said yesterday. “By creating this national network we will be able to help facilitate and further enhance the possibilities for participants across the country to meet and work together, identifying opportunities to really maximise their growth potential.”

The National Alumni Network will be managed by Oxford Saïd Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in partnership with the UK academic partners – Leeds University Business School, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School, Aston Business School and University College London.