How management training is helping to drive UK’s small business growth

Developing and honing management skills is often just another thing on a long to-do list for many business owners, but the reality is, strengthening knowledge and getting access to high quality support is key to helping SMEs up and down the UK drive growth and build resilience to future shocks.

How management training is helping to drive UK’s small business growth

The government’s Help to Grow: Management course is one of the programmes available that is focusing on delivering these skills, making them more accessible and affordable for early-stage businesses with more than five employees. We need to shout about it from the rooftops!

Small businesses need support like this to develop skills that will help them to overcome economic indicators and inflationary pressures and to build resilience to future shocks. If entrepreneurs don’t feel confident enough to develop our bright tomorrows, who will?

We must do everything we can to empower entrepreneurs, everywhere to keep doing what they do best whilst making the time to improve basic skills.

The Help to Grow: Management course offers senior business leaders 50 hours of leadership and management training across 12 weeks, with the government covering 90% of the costs involved. They each receive one-to-one support from an experienced and rated business mentor. Training is delivered via a national network of over 50 business schools including Huddersfield Business School.

Data shows since January, more than 3,600 course participants have been auto enrolled onto the Help to Grow: Management mentor platform to be matched with one of more than 2,600 trained mentors now available to access across the UK. Participants are either self-matched with a mentor online or carefully broker matched with a relevant mentor by advisers.

One of the course delivery partners is the University of Huddersfield via the Huddersfield Business School. It is one of more than 50 business schools involved in delivering the Government’s Help to Grow: Management course and has successfully recruited four intakes of local small businesses in its West Yorkshire catchment. 

Katey Curtis, is a senior education practitioner at the school. She could not be more positive.  She said: “The content, format, new mentoring platform and the mentoring consortium behind it are excellent.”

Even though the course is relatively new in the scheme of things, businesses in the area are already reporting positive impacts.  BOSS Training saw an upturn in performance and felt in a better position to grow the business following the course. 

Tom Burwell, head of sales and soon to be director of the Brighouse-based health and safety training company BOSS Training went on the 12-week programme in October 2022 and was matched with a mentor via the digital mentoring platform. 

He said: “Although it is still early days, we have already increased our turnover a little since I completed the course. What is much more important is the additional processes we have put in place that have not only prepared us for growth but have ensured our continuous growth in the future. They have allowed us to plan better to ensure we are always moving in the right direction.”

Helping businesses to have the processes and the knowledge to grow is an important step towards growth.  The UK’s entrepreneurs have been putting one foot in front of the other despite higher levels of debt, inflation and soaring energy prices. Helping them to make more efficient use of digital technologies, developing and diversifying their services and products, and implementing innovative management strategies will unleash the potential of entrepreneurs and the Help to Grow: Management course is playing a critical role in this by increasing resilience.

By having the added support of a trained mentor, businesses on the course can be supported as they put their new knowledge into practice.

Emma Jones CBE
Emma Jones CBE

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