In December 2020, Sarah Knight, Managing Director of Sarah West Recruitment joined the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses (10KSB) alumni community.
The 10KSB programme, launched in 2011 and funded by Goldman Sachs and the Goldman Sachs Foundation, and delivered in conjunction with leading UK universities is hailed as a shining example of how large businesses can support and drive the growth of SMEs – organisations that accounted for the vast majority of the business population and three fifths of the employment in the UK, at the start of 2020*.
10KSB provides those selected to take part in “a comprehensive programme of business development and leadership support for small businesses with high growth potential, designed to help them achieve that potential” and has been called, by some, akin to a mini MBA.
Being selected for 10KSB is no easy task and applicants must go through a rigorous selection process, that’s designed to make sure their business meets the strict criteria and they themselves have the right mindset and potential – in other words the entrepreneurial spirit and ambition – to not only complete the programme but to use their new-found skills to grow their business, innovate and create jobs - contributing further to the UK economy.
Sarah said “I couldn’t have been more delighted that Sarah West Recruitment as a business, and me as the businesses leader, were chosen as one of just 60 organisations from across the UK, to be part of cohort 13 which started in September of 2020. I subsequently learned that being selected means we’re viewed, by the formidable panel, as being in the top 25% of our industry, with the right potential to grow.”
Over the course of four months, Sarah completed the programme that combined world-class education at the Said Business School at the University of Oxford, online learning and over 100 hours of tuition from business growth experts. Not to mention the homework!
“The programme’s given me the opportunity to take a step back from the day to day involvement in the business, to evaluate the long-term strategy and what I want to achieve within Sarah West Recruitment – as well as the skills to innovate, plan and launch a new business offering. More about that soon!
“It’s also given me the chance to build links with like-minded business owners from around the UK. I wasn’t surprised to be joined by others from the South West on the programme, given the prevalence of ambitious SMEs in the area!”
Historically, results for those who take part in 10KSB UK are impressive, “outperforming other UK small businesses, creating significant uplift in revenue, job creation and productivity**”.
Sarah concludes “Given the pandemic there couldn’t have been a better time to have taken this training. I’m looking forward to continuing my 10KSB journey as part of the alumni, the ongoing learning and other opportunities that will no doubt arise as a result of this incredible programme.”
Graduation was via Zoom with Tim Peake as special guest – it felt fitting to have the UKs first astronaut to visit the International Space Station - congratulate all those who’d successfully completed the programme, given their newly formulated plans are about to blast off!