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Grow your business today

Join 30,000 senior leaders taking part in the Help to Grow: Management programme – a practical training course delivered by world-class business schools and accredited by the Small Business Charter.

The Help to Grow: Management course at Nottingham Business School (NBS) supports senior managers of small and medium-sized businesses to boost their business’s performance, resilience, and long-term growth.

The 12-week course is 90% funded by the Government and the fee payable to participants is £750. The course is designed to allow participants to complete it alongside full-time work and is delivered by the Business School at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

Find out more:

Benefits of Help to Grow at Nottingham Business School

  • Enhance your management and strategic capabilities
  • Produce a growth plan for your business
  • Build resilience to future shocks
  • Learn how to innovate 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 course that combines interactive, online sessions with face-to-face learning to suit you.

Nottingham Business School is ranked as one of the world’s top business schools for executive education by the Financial Times.


  • Open to businesses with 5-249 employees
  • Must have been operating for 1+ years
  • Participants should be a member of the senior management team and have at least one direct report
  • Can be located anywhere in the UK but must be prepared to travel to face-to-face case study workshop locations
  • Restricted to one participant per business.

Upcoming courses

Cohort 17: at Nottingham Business School

  • Onboarding: Friday 5 April 2024
  • Start date: Friday 12 April 2024
  • End date: Friday 12 July 2024

For all enquiries contact:

The course

What does the course involve?

  • Eight facilitated online two-hour sessions
  • Four practical and interactive in-person case study workshops
  • One-to-one support from a mentor, providing you with personalised support to develop your business growth action plan
  • Peer networking giving you the opportunity to share experiences with a small group of like-minded business leaders
  • Access to the regional and national alumni programme featuring events with inspirational speakers and networking events.

The course will cover key areas of leadership through the following modules:

Looking at the business model, innovation and how these help your SME to remain competitive and relevant as markets and customer needs evolve.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Understand innovation in the small business context and its relationship to strategies for growth, profitability and productivity,
  2. Have reviewed their business model and core value proposition,
  3. Understand how business model innovation can help recovery from challenges,
  4. Been introduced to innovation support.

Businesses that embrace the opportunities of digitisation and understand the potential of the data at their fingertips achieve productivity gains and competitive advantage.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Identify areas of their business for which automation will have business benefits,
  2. Have considered the potential of data analytics,
  3. Be alert to cybersecurity risks and protection,
  4. Be able to identify and address the challenges of digital adoption.

Looking in depth at how a business has

  1. innovated its business model,
  2. developed markets, including overseas,
  3. what entry models they used to address the opportunities in different countries,

And how the experience encouraged them to innovate.

Having a clear and consistent narrative about vision and purpose represented in the brand supports external positioning and internal engagement and culture.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Understand the strategic value of vision, purpose and brand, and the customer value proposition,
  2. Review vision, mission and values statements,
  3. Define the components of their brand and how it adds value to their customers,
  4. Understand the role of their business’s vision, values and brand in supporting internal engagement and culture.

This module focusses on understanding customers and considering their needs to develop a structured strategic approach to promote relevant products and services.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Have further developed their customer value proposition,
  2. Understand market segmentation and target marketing,
  3. Considered the stages in the buyer decision process and evolving the marketing and sales strategy and marketing mix to match,
  4. Explore managing the return on marketing investment.

Exploring how a business built a market-leading brand and continued to serve its customers needs through changing times. What challenges had to be overcome and how did the company stay true to its purpose and values.

Exploring the structures, skills and governance needed in the business now and as it grows. This module addresses knowledge management processes, structuring for productive, flexible and remote working, and the people implications of digital adoption.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Identify growth phases and changes needed to facilitate growth,
  2. Considered the implications of different structures and ways of working,
  3. Review skills, roles, processes and training needed to support growth and agile working.

Looking at leading others through change and enhancing performance through employee engagement, considering also diversity and wellbeing.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  • Understand how their personal leadership will be a key enabler for the success of their business,
  • Explore tools and techniques that engage and motivate,
  • Develop strategic management practices and decision-making to support productivity and agility.

An example of a company that has

  1. put employee engagement at the heart of their business,
  2. created an inclusive and productive culture,
  3. achieved growth through the way it works as much as through what it does.

Whatever the sector, there are operations within the business that generate outputs and add value for customers. This module looks at aligning operations with marketing and business strategy, how to identify factors that can disrupt value flow, and the importance of strategic partnerships, resilient supply chains and digital technologies.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Understand the role of operations in their business and how to take a systemic approach aligning operations with marketing strategy,
  2. Be able to analyse the operations in their business using a value flow map,
  3. Have considered an approach to key metrics and continuous improvement which engages teams and creates a culture of continuous improvement in value flow.

Covering the key financial statements and ratios and cash flow forecasting, what they mean for SMEs and how to identify the financial data relevant for monitoring growth for the individual business. This module also looks at financing growth both from the inside and from external sources relevant for SMEs.

Learning outcomes – participants will:

  1. Be able to use financial data to make informed decisions about future operations including identifying relevant financial metrics for monitoring growth and productivity,
  2. Understand the importance of cash flow forecasting in managing crisis and recovery, and know how to put a cash flow forecast together,
  3. Have considered options for financing growth both internally and from external sources and are aware of external finance options available and where to source information and advice.

Case study of an inspirational business leader who has successfully built a responsible and innovative business and can describe the approaches, networks and key enablers that were important for the successful delivery of their business growth plan.

Participant stories

By offering Help to Grow: Management, we have helped over 170 businesses on their journey towards growth and resilience. But don't just take our word for it - find out more from our Help to Grow graduates by watching their stories below. You can hear more from other like-minded business leaders who have completed the course by navigating to our Help to Grow case study page.


Dan Hassall

General Manager, LH Woodhouse Events Ltd.


Henna Shah

Managing Director, Attock Network Products


Shona Hatton

Director, Influence Landscape Planning

Discretionary bursary

In some circumstances, we may be able to offer extra financial support in the form of a bursary. The bursary is intended to support those applicants who would otherwise struggle to meet the £750 course fee payment. Your bursary would not need to be repaid. Email if you have any questions about our Help to Grow bursary or your eligibility.

Why NBS?

NBS has a long tradition of helping small and medium-sized enterprises to grow and flourish.

In the last 2 years we have:

  • Supported the growth and resilience of over 200 scaling SMEs through the UpScaler programme
  • Enabled over 100 SMEs to collectively respond to Covid challenges through the Small Business Leadership Programme
  • Encouraged over 500 SME employees to upskill through our short course programmes for Women in Leadership; Sustainable and Inclusive Leadership and Practical Marketing Skills