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Additional places for Government-backed management course for SMEs

22nd September 2022

As a result of the recent success of the 12-week management course ‘Help to Grow: Management’, the eligibility has changed to allow two participants per business to complete the course if their business has 10 or more employees.

SMEs are being encouraged to sign up for the opportunity to boost productivity, gain critical skills and have access to personalised mentoring and professional networks to build resilience and stimulate economic growth across the North East and beyond.

Rolled out nationally by the UK’s leading business schools, and in partnership with the Government and the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS), Help to Grow: Management is a practical training course for small and medium-sized businesses. SMEs in the region can access the programme via Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University, with the next cohort starting on 8 November 2022. Further cohorts will take place in January, February, March, and April 2023.

Associate Professor Dr Matthew Sutherland, who is leading the Help to Grow: Management programme at Newcastle Business School, commented: “We’re keen to spread the word about this invaluable programme which helps SMEs to tackle challenges, hone their leadership skills and really drive innovation and future growth. The change in eligibility for upcoming cohorts is a brilliant opportunity for businesses in the region and we would encourage SME leaders in any sector to sign up.”

To support businesses to access the programme, 90% of costs are subsidised by the Government as part of its commitment to support business recovery post-pandemic, meaning employers will pay just £750 of the £7,500 programme fee.

As part of a group of small business owners and leaders (20 to 25 per cohort), participants will build their own networks and connections – and, following the programme, will benefit from ongoing access to an extensive alumni network and a range of future events.

Speaking of his experience on the programme, Dave Knowles, Managing Director of Alpine Online, which provides data and insights to clients in the grocery sector, commented: “The programme has already helped me to better define the right products and services. I’m pretty much at the start of my journey as an SME, so it’s the perfect opportunity to challenge my thinking and then put solid foundations in place. Some of the tools that have been shared with us have enabled me to analyse where future growth could come from. It’s really helped me to look at all aspects of the business from a completely fresh perspective.”   

The 12-week programme is designed to fit alongside full-time work commitments. It is built around a practical curriculum that includes modules such as leadership; strategy and innovation; digital adoption; employee engagement; sustainability; marketing; responsible business; and financial management, as well as the development of a tailored actionable growth plan.

Delivered in an accessible format by a range of experts – including entrepreneurs, leaders of the small business community, respected academics with commercial expertise and small business know-how – Help to Grow: Management combines practical learning with 1:1 support from a business mentor, alongside peer-to-peer support via online and face-to-face sessions.

Speaking of her experience on the programme, Kelly Maxwell, Founder of Kelly’s Heroes Private Tuition Ltd, which provides private and bespoke tutoring services to primary and secondary children, commented: “The programme was a fantastic course to develop my leadership and management skills as well as developing marketing strategies and providing me with time to really focus on the business, rather than just working ‘in it’ every day.

“For anyone thinking of doing the course, I would wholeheartedly recommend it - it’s allowed me to put new fundamentals in place to really catapult the business forward, allowing it to grow and expand. The mentoring especially was a standout part of the programme for me as it helped to provide me with a road map and break things down into a digestible format.”

To find out more visit Northumbria's Help-to-Grow management page/ or to secure a place on the programme, visit the Small Business Charter registration page and select Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University. 

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