A consortium of small business support providers, led by business support group Newable, and including Enterprise Nation and the Association of Business Mentors has won grant funding to deliver the next phase of the Government’s flagship Help to Grow: Management Course to help the UK’s small businesses raise productivity.

Small business support platform Enterprise Nation, Newable and the Association of Business Mentors have together secured a grant from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop a network of business leaders and experts who will share their skills and experience through one-to-one mentoring with firms on the training and development course.

The Help to Grow: Management Course was launched by the government in August 2021, with the long-term target of reaching 30,000 businesses with leadership support.

This 12-week course is open to businesses with five or more employees who receive 50 hours of leadership and management training. The training is designed and delivered by a national network of over 50 Business Schools accredited by the Small Business Charter. The government cover 90% of the costs involved.

The next phase will give eligible small firms access to free one-to-one mentoring from experienced leader to help take their business to the next level.

The mentoring scheme

The Enterprise Nation support platform that is being deployed matches thousands of small business owners to support each day and the Help to Grow: Management Course will leverage smart technology and data to specifically match small business owners to mentors across the UK based on region, sector, and support need. The Help to Grow mentees will have the ability to track progress through their personalised dashboard, as well as receive tailored actions and recommendations on a daily basis.

Chris Manson, CEO of Newable, who leads the consortium’s bid, said:

Helping small businesses to grow is at the core of Newable’s mission. The Help to Grow mentoring offering is a winning combination to encourage experienced mentors to volunteer their valuable time and expertise to support the growth of ambitious SMEs at all stages of business growth.

By leading this programme, we will be able to leverage our extensive experience of helping over 43,000 businesses to thrive each year, plus the expertise and experience of our partners at Enterprise Nation and the Association of Business Mentors, to help businesses on the Help to Grow programme take their business to the next level.

Emma Jones, CBE, founder and CEO of Enterprise Nation, who is part of the consortium’s bid, said: “Small businesses tend to be set up by individuals with a great idea and a passion to take it forward. That doesn’t always include management skills and strategic planning.

“The Help to Grow: Management Course allows founders to focus on the key strategic skills they need to stretch and flex their enterprise muscles.  Bringing on board a mentor can consolidate the skills business owners have learned on the 12-week course, with the skills of the mentor gained over a professional career. It’s a powerful combination and we’re delighted to be part of this consortium.”

The national mentoring programme commences in August from which point businesses participating in the Help to Grow: Management Course will be matched with a voluntary mentor who will guide their action plan over a ten-week period.

Mentors will benefit from access to training, qualifications and membership of the Association of Business Mentors community and support network, plus being part of mentor peer groups.