Calling all small businesses: Virgin Money's Levelling Upstarts programme

People sitting at the Virgin Money Manchester store
Virgin Money
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
16 May 2022

Entrepreneurship has been at the heart of the Virgin brand from day one and Virgin Money is always looking for ways to support small businesses. Its new Levelling Upstarts programme helps match business owners with MBA and Business Masters students at leading universities.

Virgin Money
Virgin Money

The programme provides small businesses with tailored business advice and recommendations from MBA and Business Masters students, while also offering business leaders of the future a unique opportunity to put their training into practice.

Shadow Business Secretary Jonathan Reynolds and CEO of Virgin Money David Duffy visited Leeds University's Business School to see the new programme in action. They watched a group of students present their recommendations to Andy Jenkins, owner of My Leadership Strengths, one of the participating businesses. 

David Duffy and Jonathan Reynolds
Virgin Money

David Duffy said: “It was great to be in Leeds today to experience the Levelling Upstarts programme in person. By pooling the resources of talented business students and helping them point their brain power at real-world problems, the programme can help to solve commercial challenges while simultaneously giving MBA and Masters students valuable and transferable skills to help their future careers. And that’s great for both students and participating businesses.”

Jonathan Reynolds added: “Businesses are facing mounting costs and challenges, so it was fantastic to come to Leeds and see the power of investing in supporting small businesses. It was also a pleasure to hear from the businesses and students themselves on their reflections on the commercial challenges they are working with.”

A person paying for something with a Virgin Money Business debit card
Virgin Money

More support for small businesses

Last year, Virgin Money launched a brand new current account aimed specifically at small businesses – and it comes with loads of benefits.

The M Account for Business has no monthly fee, free digital transactions, and has been designed with entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses with an annual turnover of less than £1 million in mind.

Virgin Money also has a partnership with Virgin StartUp – the Virgin Group’s not-for-profit organisation that focuses on supporting business founders with guidance, funding and mentorship. Founders can join free digital events on specialist topics, use free digital resources to tackle knowledge gaps and get discounts on Masterclasses with business leaders.

Visit Virgin Money to find out more.