Clare Burnett

SME vs Corporation: BiY says the choice is easy for graduates

The BiY Graduate Business Academy is a new initiative aimed at preparing graduates to work in SMEs, rather than large corporations.

BiY founder Darren Shaw said: “If graduates only look towards the larger corporates for employment, they are missing out on the biggest growth sector of the UK economy over the last 13 years,”

“Lord Young’s report earlier this year (May 2013) clearly shows that growth in the economy is being driven by the SME sector: micro businesses (0-9 employees) grew by 40.4% since 2000, whilst large businesses (250+ employees) declined by 10.2% during the same period.”

The BiY Grad Academy is being supported by Gradcore, a Yorkshire based social enterprise that helps link universities, graduates and organisations.

CEO Martin Edmondson applauded this initiative, commenting: “The origins of Yorkshire Graduates are rooted in connecting graduates and SMEs in Yorkshire, so it’s great that BiY has pulled this programme together specifically to get graduates employment-ready for small business.”

“Having a better appreciation of some of the key issues owner managers face and where they can best contribute is a massive advantage for both employer and employee.”

“Graduates are well equipped with many of the tools that will support SME businesses to overcome their challenges,” adds Martyn Hodgson, a Graduate Mentor, who is partnering with BiY in the Academy.

“They have grown up with digital technology and can turn those skills to reducing the amount of time spent on admin, as well as harnessing the power of the internet and social media.”

In one workshop the graduates met business owners to discuss the challenges of SMEs and came up with proposals to deal with them.

Julie Bickerdyke, Finance Director at Austin Hayes, comments “I was really impressed with the variety of ideas, some of which we had not previously considered as a business. We are now evaluating several of the proposals, with a view to implementation.”

12 graduates put forward by Gradcore, sourced through Yorkshire Graduates website participated in the programme, and are now seeking opportunities within the local business community.

Business owners can meet the graduates at the free launch event on December 5th, at the Rose Bowl Leeds, where they will demonstrate why their expertise and potential in the growing SME sector.

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