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Online Help to Grow: Management pilot launches to increase accessibility

By Storybeat

Small business owners will be able to access a fully online-only pilot of the government-backed Help to Grow: Management course by Oxford Brookes Business School and Small Business Britain.

This pilot of a fully online course will also offer a limited number of a fully-funded places through sponsorship from Lloyds Bank Academy.

The Help to Grow: Management course is a 12-week practical management training programme for SMES that aims to help small businesses boost performance, resilience, and long-term growth.

Delivered by leading UK business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter, Help To Grow: Management includes 50 hours of in-depth training and one-on-one business mentoring. The programme, announced by the Treasury in 2021, is 90% subsidised by the government, with small businesses required to pay the remaining £750 fee.

But as part of efforts to boost the accessibility of the course, Lloyds Bank Academy will cover this fee for a limited number of participating businesses as part of its commitment to help Britain’s small businesses prosper.

Michelle Ovens, Founder of Small Business Britain, said: “ The Help to Grow: Management programme offers considerable value to small businesses, generating hugely positive feedback from those that have completed the course .

“ The current programme is hybrid, with a mix of online and in person attendance and there is the need to finance participation, so there is a huge opportunity to explore how we could expand the accessibility of this fantastic programme by going fully online. Due to a broad range of factors, from geographical and economic barriers, to care responsibilities, disability and neurodiversity, some small business leaders may find it difficult to attend in person sessions, we are testing if a fully online option widens the appeal of the course .”

Small Business Minister Paul Scully said: Seizing opportunity is what being a business leader is all about, and our Help to Grow Management: Scheme gives entrepreneurs the chance to access the very best advice on how to innovate, reach new customers and boost profits.

“The practical training scheme is 90% funded by the government and designed around busy business owners’ schedules, so I would encourage entrepreneurs across the UK to get involved and maximise the potential of their business.”

Aimed at senior leaders in small and medium-sized businesses, the course is designed to fit around existing work commitments and covers strategies for growth and innovation, leading high-performance teams, and digital adoption, as well as financial management and responsible business practices.

Businesses have the opportunity to hear from inspirational business leaders and learn alongside peers, with access to a national alumni network.

A key outcome of the course is that small businesses gain guidance in developing a tailored business growth plan to increase their productivity and revenues, helping to take small business across the UK to the next level.

The first two cohorts of the online pilot will kick off in June 2022, with further cohorts taking place in September.

Professor Tim Vorley, Pro-Vice Chancellor and Dean of Oxford Brookes Business School, said: “ The Oxford Brookes pilot will help us learn how to accelerate the accessibility and expand the benefits of Help to Grow: Management.

“We are looking forward to rolling out this online version of the programme and helping to make it even more accessible and inclusive for the UK’s small businesses, ensuring all can realise their growth potential.”

Eligible businesses – which must have been running for more than a year and employ at least five members of staff – are able to apply for a place on the fully online course, wherever they are based in the country. The applicant must be in a leadership role within the business.

A limited number of fully-funded places will be offered on a first come, first based service.

To apply for a place on the pilot online Help to Grow : Management course, businesses should visit – https://www.brookes.ac.uk/business/business-engagement/sbb

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Dive Deeper:
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One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
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Get all your news in one place