Take your business to the next level with the Help to Grow Management Course. A government-backed programme designed to help you learn new skills, reach more customers and boost your profits. 

Help to Grow is aimed exclusively at senior decision makers of small and medium-sized businesses to boost their company's performance, resilience, and long-term growth. The course is 90% funded by the UK Government and has been designed to be flexible to fit in around a busy schedule with minimum disruption.

Next cohort starting in September 2024.

Programme Overview


Industry focussed

Facilitated by Salford Business School, this practical programme takes place over 3 months and will include both online and face to face sessions, alongside peer support and mentoring.

The programme is built around a practical curriculum which features:

  • Seven facilitated online 2-hour sessions
  • Five practical, face-to-face case study workshops
  • One-to-one support from a mentor, providing you with personalised support to develop your 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 Programme featuring events with inspirational speakers, business clinics and networking events
Help to Grow Cover Image
Course modules for cohort 15 starting September 2024

Module 1 - Strategy and Innovation (delivered face-to-face)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Understanding innovation and its relationship to growth, profitability and productivity.
  • Reviewing your business model and value proposition in relation to current and future market opportunities.
  • Understanding how business model innovation can help you respond to, and recover from, challenges.
  • Finding out about the UK’s innovation ecosystem


Module 2 - Digital Adoption (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Understanding the benefits of digital adoption for SMEs in innovating business models and seizing opportunities.
  • Considering what stage your business has reached on the path to digital adoption from digitisation to digital transformation, and identifying priority development areas.
  • Understanding the role of digital leadership and considering digital enablers to achieve a transformational culture.
  • Being alert to the risks of a digitised environment and ways to mitigate that risk.


Module 3 - Internationalisation and Winning New Markets case study workshop (delivered face-to-face)

Learning outcomes will include:

Taking an in-depth look at how a business has:

  • Innovated its model.
  • Developed markets overseas.
  • Explored models to address opportunities in different countries.
  • Adapted their business model and overcame challenges.
  • How the experience encouraged them to innovate.


Module 4 - Vision, Mission and Values (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Understanding the strategic value of vision, purpose and brand, their link to the customer value proposition and role in achieving competitive advantage.
  • Exploring vision, mission and values statements and planning an approach for reviewing these in your business.
  • Defining brand components and how they add value to your business and customers.
  • Understanding the role of your business’s vision, values and brand in organisational culture and employee engagement.

Module 5 - Developing a Marketing Strategy (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Further developing your customer value proposition and your business’s approach to marketing.
  • Understanding market segmentation, targeting and positioning (STP) within your business’s competitive environment.
  • Considering the stages in the buyer decision-making processes.
  • Starting to consider the benefits of database marketing.

Module 6 - Building a Brand case study workshop (delivered face-to-face)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Exploring how a business built a market-leading brand and continued to serve its customers’ needs through changing times. What challenges had to be overcome and how did the company stay true to its purpose and values.

Module 7 - Organisational Design (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Identifying growth phases and when and how it will be necessary to evolve the shape of the organisation to implement growth.
  • Considering SME examples of different structures and ways of working and the implications for your workforce.
  • Jointly with others in your business, reviewing skills, roles and training to ensure the required expertise is available to deliver the growth plan.
  • Considering structures and processes to facilitate agile working.

Module 8 - Employee Engagement and Leading Change (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Identifying appropriate strategies for leading change in an inclusive and engaging way.
  • Planning to implement approaches that enhance employee engagement.
  • Recognising the impact of your own leadership approach as a key enabler for growth.
  • Being able to utilise tools and resources collaboratively to lead your team towards strategic goals.

Module 9 - High Performance Workplace case study workshop (delivered face-to-face)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Exploring an example of a company that has put employee engagement at the heart of their business and created an inclusive culture. The tools and ways of working are innovative and productive, and the business has achieved growth through the way it works as much as through what it does.

Module 10 - Efficient Operations (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Understanding the role of operations and how to take a systemic approach, aligning operations with marketing strategy.
  • Analysing operations using a value flow map.
  • Considering an approach to key metrics which engages teams and creates a culture of continuous improvement in value flow.
  • Recognising how your operations improvement strategy contributes towards your Growth Action Plan.

Module 11 - Finance and Financial Management (delivered online)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Using financial data to make informed decisions about future operations including identifying relevant financial metrics for monitoring growth and productivity.
  • Understanding the importance of cash flow forecasting in managing crisis and recovery.
  • Considering options for financing growth both internally and from external sources, and being aware of where to source information and advice.

Module 12 - Implementing Growth Plans case study (delivered face-to-face)

Learning outcomes will include:

  • Developing priorities and a timeline for implementation, using your Growth Action Plan.
  • Identifying the resources required to achieve the objectives in your Growth Action Plan.
  • Embedding key management practices critical to growth and productivity in your business.

Key Outcomes


Learn how to innovate in your business and enhance your management and strategic capabilities


Produce a growth plan for your business and build resilience to future shocks


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

Eligibility Requirements

To join Help to Grow, your business must:

  • Be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME)
  • From any business sector, employing between 5 and 249 full-time staff / freelancers / contractors
  • Have been operational for at least one year
  • Not be a charity

To join Help to Grow, the applicant must:

  • Be a director / manager with direct reports within their company (Please note: max 1 participant for companies with 5-10 employees and max 2 for companies with 11-249 employees)

Industry sectors


The programme is open to all industry sectors, and the exchange of cross-sectoral best practices is actively encouraged. Take a look at the top sectors sending their employees to learn and grow from this programme:

Construction 18%
Other services sector  18%
Education 12%
Information and communication 11%
Professional, scientific and technical activities 9%
Accommodation and food services 8%
Motor vehicles and motorcycles 8%
Manufacturing  7%
Arts, entertainment and recreation  6%
Transportation and storage 5%

Participant Feedback

Jeffrey Ng, Development Group Director of Koderly

"I’ve met some great people from the Help to Grow programme and was paired with a first-class mentor who has given me lots of inspiration and encouragement throughout the programme.

The programme exceeded my expectations and grew my confidence which helped me to contribute to the business more effectively.

I highly recommend that business leaders take advantage of the Help to Grow: Management programme as it allows them to take guilt-free time away from the office to think about how to grow their business.” - Jeffrey Ng, Development Group Director of Koderly

Rob Birley, Director, Cornerstone Resources HR

"Help to Grow has given me so many ideas as to how we can take our small business to the next level. The first thing we are implementing is a new marketing strategy and ensuring that our back office functions are joined up. This will give us a strong platform for future growth.”

"I highly recommend this course for all small business owners - it isn't just theoretical, you will get practical takeaways that you can implement straight away.” - Rob Birley, Director of Cornerstone Resources HR

Susan Witterick, Director of dBx Acoustics Ltd

"I've come out of it with a growth plan and have started implementing changes already which will help the company for years to come.”

"It’s been thought-provoking and motivating - I’ve already recommended it to lots of people. It is absolutely value for money and it’s now on me to now sit down and implement it.” - Susan Witterick, Director of dBx Acoustics Ltd

Jeremy Elson, Managing Director of Burton Safes Ltd

"As a direct result of the course I’m reviewing our mission statement and putting together a roadmap around introducing new technology and improving the business culture"

"I’ve been in business for 21 years and I’m still learning lots. It’s been good value for money for sure.” - Jeremy Elson, Managing Director of Burton Safes Ltd

Interview Screenshot - Phil Tetlow - Help to Grow
Helen Clayton Help to Grow Interview
Learn more about our Help to Grow programme