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Help to Grow: Management

Register now to join 30,000 senior leaders taking part in a practical management training programme, developed in collaboration with industry and delivered by Bradford School of Management, accredited by the Small Business Charter.  Our programme is 90% subsidised by the Goverment for eligible companies and individuals, meaning that employers will pay just £750 instead of the normal £7500 course fees.

The in-depth high quality curriculum will support you to build your capabilities in leadership, innovation, digital adoption, employee engagement, marketing, responsible business, and financial management. In addition to the expert teaching, all participants will be assigned a mentor to support the development of their business growth plan.

By the end of the programme you will develop a business growth plan to help you lead your business to release its potential. After completion of the programme all participants will be eligible to join the National Alumni Help to Grow: Management Network, with a rich offer of ongoing professional development events.

Help to Grow: Management - Banner
It's vital we do all we can to help SMEs recover from the pandemic and explore areas of new opportunity. This new 12-week course will not only put them in touch with our own experts, it will help them create a network with other business leaders, ultimately so they can grow. Prof Zahir Irani (Deputy Vice-Chancellor)

Key benefits of Help to Grow: Management

  • Enhance your management and strategic capabilities
  • Produce a growth plan for your business
  • Build resilience to future shocks
  • Learn how to innovate in your business
  • Adopt digital technologies to boost productivity and operational agility
  • Develop your value proposition and reach into growth markets
  • Improve employee engagement and responsible business practices
  • A blended programme that combines interactive, online sessions with face-to-face learning to suit you

Frequently Asked Questions

To join Help to Grow: Management your business must:

  • Be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) based in the United Kingdom
  • From any business sector, employing between 5 and 249 people
    • Businesses with 5-9 employees are eligible to submit one person to the programme
    • Businesses with 10+ employees are eligible to nominate up to two people to the programme
    • Businesses that have previously completed the Small Business Leadership Programme are eligible for registration to the Help to Grow Management Programme
  • Have been operational for at least one year
  • Not be a registered charity

To Join Help to Grow: Management, the applicant must:

  • Be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business, such as Chief Executive, Finance Director, Operations Director etc
  • Commit to completing all sessions

The 12-week programme is designed to be taken alongside full-time work through a combination of online sessions and face-to-face learning. The programme will be delivered by our leading business academics from the University of Bradford, School of Management and industry experts with support from the mentoring group. 

Facilitated by expert academics, this practical programme takes place over 12-weeks. The short focused sessions allow you to complete the course alongside running your business.

For Cohort 6 (November 2023 to February 2024) we will be delivering the cohort exclusively online, providing access to the course from across the UK. With the cohort being online each week you will be able to join us from any location to gain access to the expert teaching our academics can provide. You'll also be provided with recordings of each session to allow for reflection and the ability to revisit sessions.

 The curriculum includes;

  • Eight facilitated online two-hour sessions
  • Four practical, online case study workshops
  • Support from the Small Business Charter mentoring network from mentors who have experience of running a business, providing you with personalised support to develop your own business growth plan
  • Peer networking, including peer group calls that give you the opportunity to share experiences with a small group of other small business leaders
  • Access to the Alumni Network featuring events with inspirational speakers, business clinics and networking events

Help to grow management training is delivered nationally by participating business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter, an award which recognises the high quality, tailored guidance they provide to support small businesses and their local economy.

The consortium brings a huge amount of expertise and experience to support you and your business.

Help to Grow: Management Modules

Help to Grow: Management offers a twelve week learning experience for participants. Each of the twelve modules offers teaching from expert lecturers from the University allowing you to develop your knowledge and skill set whilst continuing to manage your business.

The course has been designed to help you focus on your Growth Business Plan for your organisation from the start. This will be supported by the course facilitator, lecturers and mentor who will help you build on your foundation throughout the programme.

Below offers a more detailed breakdown of each of the modules delivered on the course and how they will assist in your development.

The Induction Module acts as your first step on the Help to Grow Management programme. The online session will include an introduction to the course exploring the road map to be followed throughout the programme. During the session participants will be introduced to their facilitator and other participants allowing for networking within the cohort.

A diagnostic questionnaire will be completed about the participants business which will help the University to match each participant to their mentors. This questionnaire will help your facilitators and mentors to understand your background, knowledge and key areas of improvement throughout your journey.

Part 1 of the course focuses on what your business does and how it develops in the future. It looks at strengths, capabilities, opportunities and markets allowing for an understanding of how growth can take place. It also focuses on how innovation, digital adoption and new market penetration can drive productivity and growth.

Module 1 - Strategy & Innovation

The first module of the course allows for the participants to look at what your business does. It explores your products and services, the markets you serve and the business model you operate.

The session will build on the foundations you have already established. It aims to start identifying the opportunities you have for the future and how you can use these to shape the direction of your business.

It will also investigate what innovation means in the context of your business and how it is vital in helping you to remain competitive and relevant as markets and customer needs evolve.

Module 2 - Digital Adoption

Module two focuses on developing what you have identified in module one and learning how to utilise what you've learned. It embraces opportunities of digitisation and how data can be used to help achieve productivity gains and competitive advantage.

The module will consider different facets of digital adoption from transitioning digital technologies to leading business model innovation based on new digital solutions.

Participants will focus on understanding where their business sits on the path to digital adoption and identifying priority development areas. It will also enable participants to understand the role of digital leadership and how to utilise digital enablers to achieve transformational culture whilst being alert to and mitigating risks associated with the digitised environment.

Module 3 - Internationalisation & Winning New Markets

Part one of the programme concludes with a focus on how one business has successfully grown through a strategy of developing new markets.

The module will be a case study format where students will participate in a four hour workshop based on information given to read in advance.

It will investigate how a company has innovated its model, developed overseas markets, explored opportunities, adapted their business model and overcome challenges. It will then reflect on how the experience of part one will encourage participants to innovate.

Part 2 of the course focuses on communicating your business in a compelling and relevant way to build relationships with customers, strategic partners and internal audiences. It focuses on how you convey messages through your brand, aspirations or even the values your team displays when dealing with customers. You will develop strategic marketing approaches using segmentation, targeting and positioning.

Module 4 - Vision, Mission & Values

Module 4 aims to understand clear and consistent narratives about what your business does and why. This will help to develop understanding on external positioning and internal engagement.

The module will explore vision and mission statements whilst considering the purpose and values of the business. It will explore how these values can be conveyed through components of your brand and build the culture of your business.

You will understand strategic values for vision, purpose, brand the link to customer value proposition and achieving competitive advantage. It will explore how vision, mission and value statements help to develop planning approaches and reviewing these within a business.

Module 5 - Developing a Marketing Strategy

Module 5 will build on the information you have learned throughout the first four modules as it explores what you know about customer groups, what is important to your market and how they make decisions. As you work through the module you will use the information to develop strategic and targeted marketing functions for your business and utilise data to enhance your marketing function.

The module will help you to develop your customer value proposition and business approach to marketing whilst considering stages in the buyer decision-making processes and benefits of database marketing. You will also develop a understanding of market segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) within your competitive business environments.

Module 6 - Building a Brand

Module 6 will build on the information you have learned throughout the first four modules as it explores what you know about customer groups, what is important to your market and how they make decisions. As you work through the module you will use the information to develop strategic and targeted marketing functions for your business and utilise data to enhance your marketing function.

The module will help you to develop your customer value proposition and business approach to marketing whilst considering stages in the buyer decision-making processes and benefits of database marketing. You will also develop a understanding of market segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) within your competitive business environments.

The case study session will explore how a business has built a market-leading brand and continued to serve customer needs through evolving times. Participants will explore how the company stayed true to its purpose and values even when handling change.

Part 3 of the programme focuses on creating a sustainable organisational structure that helps to deliver goals. Participants will explore good practice in leadership and management whilst looking at leading people through change and supporting wellbeing of staff, staff development and the introduction of agile working.

Module 7 - Organisational Design

Module 7 works on a reflection-based approach. Participants will analyse their business and explore all the stages of growth, structures and roles that they have adopted to get to where they are. Analysing their organisational design, students will look at how it stands now and what is needed in the future whilst considering the structures other SMEs have adopted.

Participants will learn about business agility, formalisation and centralisation whilst trying to explore ideas in a new light. Structure can be used to exploit opportunities, innovate and continue to develop what you are already doing whilst acquiring new skills and expertise.

Participants will need to consider how automation of their processes, development of structures and the potential to adopt new ways of working. Working with peers will offer for a new insight into how the variation of structure can be utilised effectively and learn new methods that will benefit your business.

Module 8 - Employee Engagement & Leading Change

Throughout the course participants will gain new skills and knowledge that will result in improved productivity and growth if they evolve and lead change in engaging manners.

Module 8 acts as a platform for participants to work with colleagues and teams to lead the design and implementation of new approaches and improved management practice. You will begin to understand the importance of employee engagement and wellbeing to enhance your workforce productivity and morale. This will help to understand how you impact employees through your actions as a leader and the influence you have.

You will identify strategies for change in inclusive and engaging ways whilst planning to implement the new approaches that will enhance engagement. You will identify the tools and resources available to collaboratively lead your team to strategic goals as you recognise the impact your leadership has as an enabler of growth.

Module 9 - High Performance Workshop

Module 9 will conclude part 3 of the programme by offering a case study to participants allowing you to reflect on your organisational structure and employee engagement and how it has been intrinsic to successful growth.

The module will link back to earlier modules as it explores innovation, values and purpose and how they contribute to employee engagement. You will explore the impact of everything learned throughout the first 8 modules and how they have impacted your organisations design and leadership.

Whilst exploring an example company that has placed employee engagement at the forefront of their operation to create an inclusive culture participants will reflect on their own ways.

Part 4 focuses strongly on allowing participants to concentrate on what happens in your business that creates value. You will analyse how you organise and fund business operations and how to monitor and measure performance whilst compiling everything into the completion of your Growth Action Plan. The module looks into operations and finances and how these play into the strategic planning and decision-making of your business.

Module 10 - Efficient Operations

No matter the sector your business operates in the daily operations within your business generate your outputs and add value for your customers. Module 10 looks at how you can align operations with marketing and business strategy to generate this output and value.

You will identify factors that can disrupt your value flow and how you can integrate your people deployment, processes and digital technologies in a manner that enhances performance and productivity.

Understanding operations in a systematic manner will help you to recognise how the improvement strategies you deploy contribute to your Growth Action Plan. You'll consider key metrics to engage teams and create a culture of continuous improvement whilst utilising the value flow map.

Module 11 - Finance and Financial Management

Module 11 will explore how you as a business leader will use financial data in making and implementing strategic decisions. You will begin to understand how the timing of decisions is important for day-to-day operations and critical to growth and change.

The module will introduce financial tools that can be utilised whilst covering the financial metrics, liquidity management and external financing topics which can be key to the operation of SMEs. 

Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of cash flow forecasting in managing crisis and recovery and begin to consider the options available to finance growth from internal and external sources. Sources of information and advice will also be provided to participants to aid their financial growth.

Module 12 - Implementing Growth Plans

The final module of the programme offers participants the chance to understand how and begin to implement the Growth Action Plans they have developed throughout the programme.

You will begin to develop priorities and timelines for implementation, setting goals and targets to track your progress. Resources will be identified to allow the achievement of your objectives.

The Growth Action Plan will be embedded into the key management practices using all the skills and knowledge you have used throughout the programme that are critical to growth and productivity in your business.

Find out more

If you have any queries about the Help to Grow programme and want to find out more information then contact us at