Ready, steady, GROW

25th March 2021

By Jo Colwell, Partner

In June, the government launches its ‘Help to Grow’ scheme, with subsidised training aimed to help businesses be more successful. Here’s what the scheme offers and how it can benefit businesses.

June is looking like a good month, with the planned government removal of all legal limits on social contact in England, the summer weather – and the launch of the ‘Help to Grow’ scheme for businesses.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced ‘Help to Grow’ in the Budget, saying the scheme would assist SMEs in becoming ‘more innovative, competitive and productive’. It is a valuable step in the right direction on the road to recovery, and business leaders should take a look at it.

The programme is 90% subsidised by government and participants will be charged £750. Over 4,000 small businesses registered interest in the scheme within the first 24 hours. There are 30,000 places available so don’t leave it until later!

What is ‘Help to Grow’?

‘Help to Grow’ is a 12-week programme delivered by leading business schools across the UK. It will combine a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network. All business schools delivering the programme have been accredited by the Small Business Charter, a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

The scheme launches in June 2021 and will run for three years. Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, the aim of the programme is to support business leaders to develop their strategic skills.

The key modules will cover financial management, innovation and digital adoption. It is hoped that, by the end of the programme, participants will have greater skills to develop a tailored business growth plan.

There are two options available. You can choose to take advantage of the digital side (software), or the management skills advice.

1. The Management programme is practical management training to help boost business performance, resilience and growth potential.

• 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.

More details are here: Help to Grow – Management – Small Business Charter

2. The Digital programme is designed to help companies use technology to boost their sales performance and customer relationships. In addition, eligible businesses will be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. The course aims to help participants:

• Build customer relationships and increase sales.
• Make the most of selling online.
• Manage accounts and finances digitally.

Information on the digital ‘Help to Grow’ are here. Help to Grow – Take your business to the next level (campaign.gov.uk)

Who is eligible?

The offer is for one individual per company. The participant should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business e.g. Chief Executive, Finance Director etc.

UK businesses from any sector apart from charities can apply. They have to have been operating for more than one year and have between 5 to 249 employees.

Full details on the businesses and software eligible for the voucher will be published this summer.

What are the benefits to my business?

SME business leaders often miss out on training to learn new skills which would help boost their profits and reach new customers. This is usually because the investment cost can look too high and the returns uncertain.

This scheme presents a cost-effective way to get free advice and resources to tackle obstacles to growth. It is a great opportunity for a senior-level executive to benefit from corporate training at a subsidised price and then share knowledge with their broader team.

Places are limited to just 30,000 each year for four years, so if it is something you are interested in, please read more via the link below and register your interest.

Help to Grow – Take your business to the next level (campaign.gov.uk)

About the author

Joanne is a tax partner.  She joined Wise & Co in 2002 and qualified as a chartered tax adviser in 2005.  Her role has developed over the years and she combines a highly technical knowledge of taxation legislation with a practical and commercial approach to problem solving.  She regularly advises on the tax aspects of business restructures, mergers and demergers, research and development claims, and the implementation of share option schemes.

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