Help to grow ‘has already changed our business’

Date: 14/10/2021
Author: University of Salford Business School
Company: University of Salford Business School

A course designed to boost leadership and productivity among SME’s is already reaping rewards for those businesses taking part.

Delivered by the University of Salford Business School, Help to Grow: Management takes place over twelve weeks, with new courses starting throughout the year. Teaching includes both online and face-to-face sessions with leading figures from industry and experienced entrepreneurs.

The programme covers several key areas of leadership, including strategy and innovation, growing national and international markets and adopting digital technology. It is open to all businesses with between 5 and 249 employees and 90% of the costs are covered by Government funding, leaving business to pay just £750.

Among those in the first group to take the course is Chris Murray, Director at Perform, Learn, Develop (PDL), a Manchester based education services provider, which provides mentoring software and support to businesses of all sizes. It employs seven people.

Chris said: “We have seen steady sales growth in the last two years, so we have been doing well but we felt we could do even better. I was particularly keen on the internationalisation aspect of the course, as that is a direction we are looking at moving in.

“And it has already paid off. Even just a few weeks into the course I have learnt a few things and it has already changed the way we want to do business and the way we will look to develop in the future.

“We are a digital business with ten years experience but even that aspect of the course taught me a few things and made me look at issues in a new way.

Designed to be completed alongside running a business, the programme is built around a practical curriculum which includes eight online 2-hour sessions, one-to-one support from a mentor, four practical and interactive case-study workshops, and peer learning.

Danielle White, Director at Periscope Programmes, is another on the course. Her Manchester-based company provides workshops for universities and works with PhD graduates and early career academics with career development and transferable skills.

She said: “It has been very fast paced so far. I have found that the tools which have been used are helping me think strategically about where we are going as a company. And it has given me a framework to help develop our mission and values, as well as more practical advice that could help me get to where I want the company to be.”

Expressions of interest for a place on the next cohorts are being taken here. The deadline to apply is two weeks before the start of the course.