Tapping the potential of apprenticeships

17 July, 2015

Jill Barnes, Exemplas CEO, discusses the benefits of SMEs taking on apprentices.

What to expect from the Summer Budget 2015

6 July, 2015

Chancellor George Osborne will deliver the first Budget of this parliament on Wednesday 8 July 2015 – the first Budget from a Conservative government for almost 19 years.

The UK Labour Market Statistics June 2015

19 June, 2015

The UK Labour Market Statistics from the Office of National Statistics give a very useful insight into the trends in employment and unemployment across the UK.

Bridging the digital skills gap in Britain’s SMEs

23 June, 2015

The second annual UK Business Digital Index by Lloyds Bank showed that over a million small businesses lack basic digital skills. 

The Value of UK SMEs

8 June, 2015

UK SME statistics from the Department for business, Innovation and Skills ONS.

Technology is an enabler for business growth, innovation and operational effectiveness

19 June 2015

London Technology Week is celebrating London’s position as a “hot bed of innovation, business successes, entrepreneurship and creative talent”.

UK SME growth returns to pre-crisis levels

17 June, 2015

The UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises have bounced back from the recession, with growth and new start-up rates returning to pre-crisis levels.

A mission built on our passion for small business

2 June, 2015

By Jill Barnes, Chief Executive, Exemplas Ltd. 

Calling small businesses the lifeblood of our economy might sound like a cliché. But it’s absolutely true. 

Our Mission

Together. Realising Potential. Creating a better future for Britain’s businesses.

A thriving population of SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) provides the cornerstone of the British economy. It is these businesses who ultimately deliver the expertise, agility and innovation that drive the UK’s local, national, regional and global success.

This is what inspired the inception of Exemplas and we are proud that, since then, over half a million SMEs have benefited from our visionary support and guidance to help them grow and fulfil their potential.

Using this experience, and our heritage as part of the University of Hertfordshire Group of Companies, we are working with an emerging generation of SME owners and managers to help them move from start up to sustainability.  And this is why we lead the way in developing and implementing collaborative strategies with partners from industry, academia and government to shape the future for small business.

Latest Updates


  • Proposals for a new Small Business Commissioner to lead a cultural change in how small businesses resolve...

  • Figures suggest SMEs are still wary of taking on apprentices, but with commitment on both sides they can be a...

  • Good news for smaller business as the European Commission has confirmed details of funding under the...



  • Having delivered business support services across the country for more than 20 years Exemplas knows very well...

  • By Malcolm Williamson, Commerical and Enterprise Director. I was interested to read the FT last week and...

  • Hiring mistakes are costly in all companies, but in SMEs where teams tend to be more stretched the...


Industry Insights

  • of private sector businesses in the UK are SMES
  • of UK private sector employment is created by SMEs
  • of GDP is contributed by SMEs
  • of UK SMEs export

About Us

It has been well over two decades since Exemplas first started helping smaller and start-up businesses to develop and fulfil their potential. Since then, as the not-for-profit commercial arm of the University of Hertfordshire, we’ve shared our visionary approach to business growth and success with over 100,000 UK SMEs.

We are passionately committed to working with policy-makers, our SME peers, major corporates and academics to do everything we can together to create the best possible environment for the UK’s smaller businesses to flourish.

Our Brands

We take painstaking care to constantly evolve and improve our diverse portfolio of business support and skills services. Each is driven by our passionate belief in the power of expert diagnosis, advice and analysis to guide businesses to sustainable success.

Mainly focused on the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) sector and often delivered in collaboration with expert partners, our services enable us to provide effective business support and skills guidance at every stage from start-up to establishment.

Business Support

From specialist support for exporters and social enterprises, to creating powerful links with universities, formulating strategies for success and identifying expert local consultants who can help implement them, our business-support line-up is the proven stimulus behind countless business success stories.

Skills Development

We care deeply about helping people and businesses perform better, for brighter careers, stronger firms and healthier communities. And ultimately, of course, for a more competitive UK economy. That’s why the skills agenda has been at the heart of what we do for over two decades. Today is no different.