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Help to Grow scheme will support managers to lead their business to its full potential

Managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across the north of England will have the opportunity to boost their business with support from experts at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School.

The University will deliver the government’s ‘Help to Grow: Management’ scheme accredited with the Small Business Charter. The scheme offers an in-depth, high-quality curriculum, delivered only by leading business schools.

In collaboration with industry professionals, the University will work with around 900 SMEs over three years to teach them new skills, allow them to reach new customers and boost their profits.

It aims to enhance senior managers’ abilities to lead the growth of their business and support them to build capabilities to reach the business’s full potential.

The programme adds to the University’s portfolio of programmes to support entrepreneurship, local economies, small businesses and their employees at all levels, including most recently the successful Small Business Leadership Programme that aimed to support the resilience, recovery and growth of SMEs during and after the pandemic.

Build resilience

Mandy Parkinson, Project Director and Centre for Enterprise lead at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “I am so proud that we are able to continue to help local businesses.

“Our success via the Small Business Leadership Programme has allowed us to continue our support for SMEs in the North West to build resilience and networks and ensure their business thrives and builds back better.

“It’s more important than ever for senior managers to build their networks and utilise connections in the industry. The ‘Help to Grow: Management’ programme will have long-term benefits for businesses by building capabilities in leadership, innovation, digital adoption, employee engagement, marketing and financial management.

“The last 18 months has brought incredible challenges for small businesses and we are delighted that the Centre for Enterprise within the Business School will continue to do its part to support SMEs on their road to recovery.”

Upskilling our workforce

The new executive training programme is 90% funded by the government and is part of its plans to make the UK the best place in the world to start, scale up and grow a business.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Growing our small businesses, upskilling our workforce and driving investment are at the very heart of our plan for jobs.

“Our Help to Grow scheme will equip thousands of SMEs with the skills and technological know-how that will allow them to succeed. It’s great to have a strong line up of distinguished business leaders on board to help deliver this ambitious programme.”

The University is part of a national consortium of Small Business Charter-awarded universities and its success in supporting SMEs placed it as the perfect partner for the programme.

Kate Hadfield, a small business owner, who took part in the Small Business Leadership Programme earlier this year, said the University’s support helped with confidence and shape her business strategy.

She said: “It was almost like going back to square one. It was covering things I knew, but really put everything into perspective for me. It helped me see things more clearly and understand how we could build processes into the business to help us be more resilient and sustainable.

 “Doing the programme gave me the confidence boost I needed. The programme helped us establish a timeline, create a step-by-step process, and shape our strategy.

“The team at the Centre for Enterprise helped us understand how to make what we learnt relevant to our business. Now I’ve just got to put everything into practice.”

Invest and grow

The Help to Grow scheme was launched in May by the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and aims to support 30,000 small business leaders across the UK to increase productivity, invest and grow their business.

The 12-week programme will combine a practical curriculum with one-to-one mentoring from a business expert, peer-learning sessions to give businesses the opportunity to learn from one another, and an alumni network.

The first cohort of the Help to Grow: Management programme will start in September.

The programme is open to SMEs in the North West, West Midlands, or Yorkshire and Humber.

Find out more here.

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