More places have now become available on the popular Help to Grow management course for ambitious small and medium-sized Gloucestershire businesses.
In the last six months more than 30 county businesspeople have completed the 12 week course and 15 more are half way through, with the success leading to funding to take yet another cohort through the programme.
Run by the University of Gloucestershire’s Business School, Help to Grow focuses on discussing and implementing strategies for growth and innovation, leading high-performance teams, digital adoption, financial management and responsible business practices – all in the context of business owners' own business.
Dr Emily Beaumont, associate professor of enterprise and entrepreneurship at the Oxstalls-based business school, said: ‘I’m delighted at the feedback we’ve had from the business leaders who have joined our Help to Grow: Management programme, and confident that their experiences over the past 12 weeks will have an immediate and positive impact on their businesses and the local economy.’
The practically focused course features a blend of online sessions, face-to-face workshops, direct support from a specialist business mentor, and peer-to-peer networking, all designed to help leaders grow their businesses.
Andy Higdon, business development director at Atlantic Coast Studios of Tewkesbury, one of those who has completed the course, said: ‘I found the Help to Grow: Management scheme extremely helpful.
‘Taking part has got me, and consequently the team at Atlantic Coast Studios, thinking about our longer-term strategy, which we have already started planning for and implementing.
‘In particular, I found the business mentor support extremely valuable, as it challenged me to look at the wider objectives for my business beyond a purely financial lens.
‘Additionally, the peer support sessions were very good; it was encouraging to hear that the pain points we experience in our business are not unique, and I found working with peers who have experienced the same pains to identify resolutions extremely beneficial.’
Emily Phillips, another graduate and the head of marketing at Smart Home Sounds of Cheltenham, said from Help to Grow had ‘been a fantastic resource for me and far exceeded my expectations’.
Phillips said: ‘The course materials, mentor sessions, peer groups and weekly sessions have helped me grow in confidence as a leader within my own business and created the space and opportunity to explore new areas for growth.
‘Dedicating the time to this course has ensured I continue to work on the business as a whole and given me the chance to engage with some fantastic individuals from a wide variety of businesses.
‘It’s been great to get a different perspective and network with other local businesses going through their own growth journey.
'A special thank you to the course leaders who have offered fantastic support and really helped me to engage and start implementing new strategies right from week one.’
Help to Grow is delivered by business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter, and is 90 per cent funded by the UK government.
The next course in Gloucestershire is due to begin with an 'onboarding session' on 16 November with the course proper starting on 23 November 2022, all other sessions also due to be held on a Wednesday as well. Spaces cost £750.
To book or find out more visit helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk.
Further places are expected to become available in early 2023. To find out more email Lynn Stacey at firstname.lastname@example.org.