Help to Grow: Management course

Group of business leaders who completed Help to Grow

Get involved with the government-backed Help to Grow: Management course and you will learn lessons that have an immediate impact. Aimed at senior leaders in small and medium businesses it includes 50 hours of in-depth training, 1:1 business coaching, and the opportunity to grow your business, fast. The 12-week programme is 90% funded by the government so you only pay £750. Equip you business today with tools and strategies to bolster your resiliance.

Find start dates

What is Help to Grow?

Help to Grow is a 12 week-programme delivered by Leeds University Business School and accredited by the Small Business Charter. The programme combines a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network.

Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, this programme will support you to develop your strategic skills with key modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. By the end of the programme you will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead your business to its full potential. You will hear from inspirational business leaders and learn alongside local peers, with access to a national alumni network. 

Who can take part?

Aimed at senior leaders in small and medium businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than 1 year, with between 5 to 249 employees are eligible.

What is the cost?

The programme is 90% subsidised by government – costing only £750.

Participant feedback

Caroline Wherritt, Founder and CEO of Re:Work, completed Help to Grow in March 2022 and would ‘absolutely’ recommend it to other small-business leaders in the region. 

Read about Caroline’s experience of taking part in Help To Grow

Steve Brooke, Managing Director of Anglo Stainless, completed Help to Grow in July 2022 and would ‘recommend to any business owner’.

Read about Steve’s experience of taking part in Help To Grow

Watch our video

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The programme takes 12 weeks to complete and consists of one half-day session per week delivered through a mixture of online and in-person (7 online and 5 in-person).

What are the benefits to me?

  • Enhance your management and strategic capabilities
  • 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
  • Future-proof your business

Meet some of our Coaches

Gary Lumby, Help to Grow mentorGary Lumby MBE, Managing Director, Focus on Success Ltd
Gary was UK Director in charge of SME Banking at Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks until 2012 and then set up his own management consultancy business, Focus on Success Ltd. through which he works with SMEs across the UK as their Non-Executive Director. In addition, Gary works as a Growth Expert on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business Programme and owns Denovo Properties (NE) Ltd, SE Directors Ltd and Omkara Beauty. LinkedIn Profile

“Gary was an excellent and experienced mentor, with clear and tailored guidance to help get the most out of the Help to Grow programme and the Growth Plan. Gary’s advice helped shape my Growth Plan for a new product launch and its subsequent implementation in the months after the course.”
Chloe Barker, Head of Commercial at Coltraco Ultrasonics

Jo Smith, Help to grow mentor

Jo Smith, Founder and MD, The Goalgetter Organisation Ltd
Jo has more than 20 years of experience at Company Director level, including as HR Director for Arla Foods, Europe’s largest dairy company. Jo has worked with founders and directors of SMEs for the last 15 years including growing a start up to a £100m turnover, global business. Her experience encompasses all sizes of business and many different sectors. Jo’s Organisation, Goalgetter.

“Jo brings both compassion and wisdom whilst sharing incredible insights and practical advice from her extensive experience.”
Jaclyn Goddard, Director at Psst! Marketing

Paul Slater, Help to Grow mentor

Paul Slater, Managing Director, The Change Shed Ltd
Paul specialises in helping organisations to innovate, transform and grow to become more valuable, enjoyable and future-proof. He supports his clients to implement practical growth strategies that focus on improving their overall business system. Paul has successfully coached leaders on programmes including HTG, PAPI, PwC Scale and Peer Networks. LinkedIn Profile.

“Paul was great, he was a fantastic ear and provided some solid advice based on the growth path for our business. We talked through a number of tricky issues during the course and Paul always had an answer or a question that focused us on finding a solution.” 
Sam Raife, Managing Director at Brand Ambition

Steve Baker. Help to grow mentorSteve Baker, Director, Baker & Co Accountants
Steve is an Electronic Engineer who worked for BAE Systems in a variety of roles. After completing a sponsored MBA he founded a software company that was listed in the Sunday Times top 100 companies for three consecutive years. He also served in the Army Reserve reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and Commanded a Regiment in Yorkshire. LinkedIn Profile.

Anchor“Steve is an excellent mentor. He has a wealth of personal experience having owned and worked with many different businesses. With his experience from the military, he can offer practical advice as well as helping to identify challenges and business growth opportunities.” 
Sarah Hambly, Finance Manager at Primeast

Apply online

The following courses run by Leeds University Business School are now open for applications. New dates are added throughout the year.

Register for course starting on Tuesday 25th April 2023 (Leeds)

Click here to register for Cohort 17

Seven online sessions, and five face to face sessions at the University of Leeds in Leeds City Centre.

  • Module 1 - Strategy and Innovation (face to face)
    Tuesday 25th April 2023‚Äč, 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Module 2 - Digital Adoption (online)
    Tuesday 2nd May 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 3 - Internationalisation and Winning New Markets - Case Study (face to face)
    Thursday 11th May 2023, 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Module 4 - Vision, Mission and Values (online)
    Tuesday 16th May 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 5 - Developing a Marketing Strategy (online)
    Tuesday 23rd May 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 6 - Building a Brand Case Study (face to face)
    Thursday 1st June 2023, 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Module 7 - Organisational Design (online)
    Tuesday 6th June 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 8 - Employee Engagement and Leading Change (online)
    Tuesday 13th June 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 9 - High Performance Workplace - Case Study (face to face)
    Thursday 22nd June 2023, 1:00pm-5:00pm
  • Module 10 - Efficient Operations (online)
    Tuesday 27th June 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 11 - Finance and Financial Management (online)
    Tuesday 4th July 2023, 2:00pm-4:00pm
  • Module 12 - Implementing Growth Plans - Case Study (face to face)
    Thursday 13th July 2023, 1:00pm-5:00pm

Future dates

We look forward to announcing future dates for the Help to Grow programme shortly, to register your interest and find out more please email or call Alison Cameron on 07927578367.

Help To Grow Bursary

Leeds University Business School is committed to supporting the social enterprise network across the Yorkshire region and will be offering one fully funded bursary place on each cohort of the Help to Grow Management Programme to a local social enterprise. 

If you are interested in making an application for a bursary place on this programme please complete this form and a member of the team will be in touch soon. Read one of our Case Studies here from Dawn O’Keefe at SHINE

There are a very limited number of bursary places available and we will not be able to accommodate all eligible applications. The final decision whether or not to grant a bursary will be made by representatives of the Centre for Professional and Executive Education.

Contact the team

Improve your business’s resilience by signing up to Help to Grow today.

If you would like more information then you can contact our dedicated team by emailing

Leeds University Business School Coaching for Growth Scheme

Leeds University Business School offers one-to-one Growth Coaching for small business owners & leaders who are registered on our SME focused programmes, such as the Help to Grow Programme, the SME Future Leaders programme and others. We also provide coaching as a separate offer at a reduced commercial rate to SME business owners and their staff.  

Leeds University Business School has a long standing history of supporting SME businesses, offering a range of programmes including an element of coaching for businesses looking to grow.  We have found embedding coaching into programmes benefits business owners and small business leaders in several ways by supporting you individually and helping your business.  Coaching will give you the tools to take your business to the next level.  In a supported environment, your thinking and business practice will be challenged, your Coach will provide you with an alternative business perspective and will help to grow your confidence in you and your business.  We will provide you with structured practical coaching to enable your business grow.

For further details of Help to Grow and Coaching, please contact