SME Future Leaders Programme

Course overview

This exciting blended programme has been uniquely designed for senior management teams in high-growth SMEs. The next cohort will commence in the classroom on 23 and 24 January 2020 followed by 5 online units and a final day in the classroom on 26 March.

We recognise that there comes a stage in fast developing SMEs when the owner/founder can no longer do everything themselves. As the business expands the Business Owner (BO) needs to be able to step back and take a more strategic role - working on planning the future rather than becoming tied up in the detail of day to day operations.

By developing the leadership capacity of the Senior Management Team (SMT), the business owner will be able to empower key decision makers, safe in the knowledge that the team can respond to challenge by adopting styles of working suitable for fast-growing businesses.

Through the time spent working together in small groups and within the business, participants will have the opportunity to explore the needs of the business during the next growth phase and be able to implement a plan to achieve the growth. The teams will have the opportunity to work across sectors which will enable them to gain an outsiders view of the business.

By the end of the programme, the teams will have developed an operational plan to implement the strategic plan of the business. The team will have identified business opportunities, have a good understanding of the implications of growth on the finances, be able to manage workloads, and have improved leadership skills.

Terms and conditions

Course structure

The programme will cover a series of units across the twelve week duration, delivered by a mixture of both face-to-face and online learning. The programme will be delivered by Professor Sarah Underwood, with face-to-face learning taking place in Leeds.

Week Mode Dates Attendees Agenda
1 Day 1 face to face 23 Jan 2020 BO and SMT* Unit 1 The challenge of leadership
Unit 2 Needs and values of the business
Day 2 face to face 24 Jan SMT Unit 2 continued Needs and values of the business
Unit 3 An innovative mindset
2 Online w/c 27 Jan SMT Unit 4 Financial literacy
3 Online webinar w/c 3 Feb SMT Unit 5 Target setting and feedback loops
4 Online w/c 10 Feb SMT Unit 6 People management
5 Break week w/c 17 Feb Break week
6 Online w/c 24 Feb SMT Unit 7 Financial planning for growth
7 Online webinar w/c 2 Mar SMT Unit 8 Capacity for challenge
8   w/c 9 Mar     Preparation week
  w/c 16 Mar     Preparation week
10 Day 3 face to face 26 Mar BO and SMT Unit 9 Future leadership plans

*Business Owner (BO) and Senior Management Team (SMT).

Who should attend?

The course is designed specifically for the Senior Management Team from any business, in any sector. The minimum number of delegates per business is two, to enable them to work together and develop a plan. The maximum number of delegates per business is six.

If the team exceeds six, please contact us to discuss further.


Sarah Underwood, Professor of Entrepreneurial Practice, Leeds University Business School

Fee information

The Senior Management Team all undertake the full programme and the cost includes three days of face to face classroom learning plus 5 online units. The cost per person reduces if more people from the business attend.

Number of delegates Cost to the Business Cost per person
2 members of the Senior Management Team £2500 £1250
3 members of the Senior Management Team £3450 £1150
4 members of the Senior Management Team £4200 £1050
5 members of the Senior Management Team £4650 £930
6 members of the Senior Management Team £5100 £850

The Business Owner will attend on day one and day three at no extra cost.

Venue details

Weetwood Hall Estate
Otley Road
LS16 5PS