How a Government scheme helped me to grow in 2022


The MIA’s General Manager, Alice, pictured with Professor Toni Hilton, the Dean of the School of Business and Law at The University of Brighton [Photo Credit: Chris Dyson Photography}
The Help to Grow: Management Course exists to help you develop your leadership skills and in turn boost the performance and resilience of your business.. It’s designed and delivered by entrepreneurs and industry experts at world-class business schools (in my case, the School of Business & Law at The University of Brighton) and you can choose from the 50+ Small Business Charter accredited business schools closest to your home, or place of work.

The programme runs over 12 weeks and includes online and face-to-face sessions, 1 to 1 mentoring and peer networking. With just one session a week, it fit nicely around my existing work and personal commitments.

This course is 90% funded by the Government, which means (for the purposes of transparency) the actual cost of the course to the MIA was £750.

Learning alongside other local businesses

Small business leaders from nearly every industry sector have attended the course. In my cohort, it was a real mix, whether it was somebody running a marketing agency, a family-owned restaurant, or a GP who set up a Private Practice, I met leaders and senior managers that regularly experience the same day-to-day challenges that I face. Sharing ideas and making connections was a huge benefit of the programme.

In terms of course content, I attended interactive sessions and case studies, both online and in-person. Topics included; strategy & innovation, digital adoption, agile leadership, winning new markets, employee engagement, vision mission & values, developing a marketing strategy, building a brand and much much more. Each module was delivered by an expert in that particular field, and all the lessons were contextualised to be highly relevant to small businesses, and aimed towards helping you to grow your organisation.

1:1 Business Mentoring

As part of the programme, you are gifted with 10 free hours of 1:1 mentoring. You are matched with an experienced business mentor that will support the training programme and equip you with skills to improve productivity and grow your business.

You choose your own mentor from a list of people of a hugely high calibre, such as top names including banking giant Santander, FTSE 100 telecoms firm Vodafone and multi-award-winning mentor Herman Stewart.

Developing a Growth Action Plan

You use everything that you learn throughout the course to develop a tailored Growth Action Plan for your business. This structure allows you to record the important issues and opportunities facing your organisation, and to put this into one concise record.

The plan really helps you to establish a business case for growth and change; to set goals, and to map out key steps to achieve the ultimate outcomes. The course leaders and your mentors are available to work on this plan with you.


To join the Help to Grow: Management Course you should:

  • Work for a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise based in the United Kingdom
  • Employ between 5 and 249 employees
  • Be a member of the senior leadership team and have direct reports
  • For more information, you can read these FAQs

My outcomes

Having read back over this piece I realise it does sound a bit testimonial-esque, but I can only say it how I saw it and for me it was a really worthwhile experience. Getting the opportunity to spend a little bit of time away from the day-to-day, with a new mix of people was really inspiring, and invigorating.

The Help to Grow programme is a thought provoking and detailed course, full of relevant content, that is easily accessible and very rewarding. I would strongly recommend the programme to anyone who is trying to grow their business, particularly as it is such good value for money in real terms.

You can find all the details here

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