Help to Grow
The programme is an opportunity for senior leaders to build expertise across the key areas and to boost confidence that they’re on the right track.
The programme combines a practical curriculum, with one-to-one support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network. By the end of the programme leaders will have developed a business growth plan to help them lead their business to release its potential.
The programme will be delivered by:
- small business and enterprise experts from Oxford Brookes Business School
- supported by leading figures from industry and experienced entrepreneurs.
Participants must be able to attend all sessions.
- eight facilitated online 2-hour sessions
- four practical and interactive 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.
The programme offers 50 hours of support over 12 weeks. It is intended to be manageable alongside full time work. Participants must be able to attend all sessions.
The programme will cover key areas of leadership including:
- strategy and innovation
- growing national and international markets
- leading for high performance
- building vision and brand
- engaging and inspiring teams
- creating customer value
- adopting digital technology
- adopting responsible business practices
- financial management.
The programme cover key areas of leadership and is delivered in 4 parts, each with 3 modules. Each part has two facilitated online 2-hour sessions followed by a face-to-face practical and interactive case study workshop.
Part 1 - Strategies for Growth and Innovation
This focuses on what your business does and how you want it to develop in the future. We look at your business’s strengths and core capabilities, your opportunities, and your current and potential markets, and how innovation, digital adoption and new market penetration can be key drivers of productivity and growth.
- Module 1: Strategy and Innovation
- Module 2: Digital Adoption
- Module 3: Internationalisation and Winning New Markets
Part 2 - Engaging with Customers
We focus on why you do what you do, how you connect with your customers and how you effectively convey your values and purpose in your brand. We look at building demand, segmenting your markets, and achieving a targeted and strategic approach to marketing.
- Module 4: Vision, Mission and Values
- Module 5: Developing a Marketing Strategy
- Module 6: Building a Brand Case Study
Part 3 - Building a Sustainable and Agile Business
This part focuses on creating a suitable organisational structure to deliver your goals, and adopting good practice in the leadership and management of teams. We look at leading people through change and supporting the wellbeing of staff, as well as developing your people and introducing agile ways of working.
- Module 7: Organisational Design
- Module 8: Employee Engagement and Leading Change
- Module 9: High Performance Workplace Case Study
Part 4 - Operations and Financial Strategies
We focus on what happens in the business to create outputs, how you monitor progress and use information to inform decision-making. We look at a strategic approach to operations, financial management and options to f inance growth, and how everything comes together in the implementation of your Growth Action Plan.
- Module 10: Efficient Operations
- Module 11: Finance and Financial Management
- Module 12: Implementing Growth Plans Case Study
- enhance your management and strategic capabilities
- receive support and challenge from peers in other industries
- boost confidence that you’re on the right path
- 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.
- UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year and have between 5 to 249 employees are eligible
- charities are not eligible.
- you must be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business, such as Chief Executive, Finance Director, Operations Director etc
- you must commit to completing all sessions.
The programme is 90% funded by the Government. The fee payable by participants is £750.
Julie Cook. Julie teaches on a range of business and management programmes in Brookes. She also provides consultancy services in relation to people and change matters; business transformation and new ways of working especially in relation to using global communications.
Dr Surja Datta. Surja’s research interests include innovation, and creativity. His current research is focused on understanding and explaining the 'creative milieu' phenomenon and his most recent book explores how firms attain achieve competitive advantage in a fast-changing business landscape.
Dr Paul Jackson. Paul’s areas of expertise include digital strategy and leadership, e-Business, information systems and systems thinking, with a particular focus on the management of innovation involving AI and machine learning. Paul has previously worked as a consultant to national e-Government projects.
Dr Kate Ringham. Kate is a Chartered Accountant with a consultancy and academic specialism in Corporate Social Responsibility in addition to financial and non-financial reporting. Kate is the academic lead for the Help to Grow programme.
Jeff Stewart. Jeff is an experienced academic and marketing practitioner, specialising in digital and social media marketing, analytics and product marketing.
Prof Tim Vorley. Tim’s research and publications are predominantly in the fields of entrepreneurship, enterprise and regional economic development. He works extensively with a number of central government departments and agencies, as well as with Local Enterprise Partnerships and local government bodies.
Dr Nick Wilton. Nick is an experienced consulting academic, working and publishing widely around the themes of labour markets, employability, and career decision-making. Clients have included TUC Commission on Vulnerable Employment, Department for Education and Skills and European Social Fund.
Nick Wake. Nick is a Chartered Marketer, lecturer and facilitator. His 25 year's plus of experience covers a variety of contexts including FTSE top 100 client side and international business services. He works with SMEs to solve their temporary marketing leadership challenges and provide creative marketing services.
Dr Karla Zimpel-Leal. Karla is an experienced practitioner, academic and facilitator. Her research interests are multidisciplinary and include disruptive care models, healthy ageing, business model innovation and knowledge transfer.
What is the expected time commitment besides the sessions and peer calls?
The total contact time commitment is 50 hours over 12 weeks. Aside from the sessions (32 hours) and the peer calls (8 hours), 10 hours of mentoring support is included. To maximise the benefits of the programme, participants may wish to set aside additional time for action planning and personal reflection.
What happens if there's an emergency and I can't make a session?
Whilst participants are expected to make themselves available to attend all sessions, we do appreciate that emergencies happen. Online sessions are recorded and so can be viewed afterwards (but would not include small group discussions). Face to face sessions are not recorded.
Are the sessions recorded and made available to watch later?
Online sessions are recorded, but the face to face ones are not.
Is there flexibility in how often I meet my mentor and for how long?
The outline model for meeting your mentor is for 10 one hour sessions. Any variation to that should be by mutual agreement between you and your mentor. For example, you may decide to meet for 5 two hour sessions.
What if I don't get on with my mentor?
We carefully match mentors to mentees. All our mentors have extensive experience across different sectors and of helping SMEs and so we are confident you will be able to build a fruitful working relationship. However, if for any reason, once having been introduced, you feel that a different mentor may meet your needs more appropriately then this can be addressed.
Is there an assessment?
There is no assessment. However, it is a condition of the subsidised funding for the programme that individuals complete a business growth plan, supported by their mentor.
Do I get a certificate at the end?
Participants will receive a Help to Grow certificate of completion where appropriate.