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Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs

If you work for an SME based in Nottinghamshire or Derbyshire, you could develop your skills in leadership, sustainability, marketing or change management at no cost to your employer.

The Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and supports employees of SMEs to access free bespoke, employer-led training, career coaching and advice to up-skill their employees in vocational and high-level technical skills.

This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).

We're currently working on redeveloping our courses to get them ready to run again in 2021 and beyond. If you want to express an interest, please contact the team on the details below to get a place on our waiting list.

Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership course group photo delivered in Tuesday 3 December 2019

Building on our successful Women in Leadership course for SMEs that has been delivered since 2019, this course is delivered by Nottingham Business School experts.

The course is suitable for women currently working in or towards leadership and management roles and is accredited at Level 7, meaning participants can gain 20 credits towards a postgraduate qualification.

The course addresses the following themes:

  • Goal setting, development planning and career management
  • How management and leadership delivers value to SMEs
  • Women as leaders
  • The importance of organisational culture
  • Bringing people with you
  • Leading and managing high-performing teams
  • Communicating with impact

Course dates

Course dates are still to be confirmed, but we are welcoming expressions of interest. Contact us at to make an enquiry.

Managing People and Organisations

We are still designing this course to be delivered in 2021. Information will be confirmed as soon as possible.

You can express your interest and get a place on our waiting list by emailing

Effective Change Management

The extent, pace and scale of change that businesses need to manage, has grown significantly. Particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), this can pose challenges around the resources, capacity or skills needed to manage change.

Our new Effective Change Management course was piloted in spring 2021, and has been designed to help senior professionals, managers and leaders within SMEs that are currently going through change, to design, implement and lead change effectively. It is relevant for businesses of five or more employees.

Course dates

We're working implementing our pilot feedback to get this course ready to run again in 2021 and beyond. Please contact us at if you wish to express an interest and get on our waiting list.

Unaccredited short courses

Our unaccredited short courses are still being designed for delivery in 2021. They will focus on areas such as:

  • marketing
  • growth leadership
  • entrepreneurship

You can express your interest and get a place on our waiting list by emailing

Eligibility and equal opportunities

This course is available to employees of SMEs that are based in the D2N2 area (Derby, Derbyshire, Nottingham, and Nottinghamshire). SMEs are defined as having:

  • less than 250 employees
  • an annual turnover under EUR 50 million or;
  • an annual balance sheet less than EUR 43 million.

Although the course is open to all people working in eligible SMEs, we aim to support:

  • employees aged 50+
  • employees with disabilities
  • Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff
  • those who have previously missed out on traditional educational opportunities.

This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF).