Thousands of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) owners have signed up to receive "MBA style management training" provided by the UK government.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the nationwide management programme on Wednesday during his second budget.
The Help to Grow: Management scheme will provide 30,000 small business leaders and managers in the UK the opportunity to take part in a practical management training programme to help boost their business’s performance, resilience, and growth potential.
It will be delivered through the Small Business Charter (SBC) and leading business schools across the country and will last 12-weeks.
All business schools delivering the programme have been accredited by the SBC, a national accreditation awarded by small firms to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.
SMEs will be offered expert tech advice and discounted software in the initiative. Those with five to 249 employers — from all industries within the economy — and have been operating for at least one year, will be eligible to access the training.
The government will cover 90% of the programme as part of approximately £220m ($304m) in funding to support small business recovery and growth, with participants paying £750.
"Too often smaller firms don't have the time or resources to acquire the extra skills and training they need to be more efficient, more digital and more productive. Help to Grow: Management will help tens of thousands of small and medium sized businesses get world class management training. Government will contribute 90% of the cost - a real commitment to learn more, make more and earn more," Sunak said.
SBC said that the scheme builds on the "strong evidence" from existing business support schemes of the impact of improved management practices on business performance.
The recent Small Business Leadership Programme has supported over 2,000 businesses through the coronavirus crisis.
The programme will include both online and face-to-face sessions, alongside peer support and mentoring, and has eight interactive online 2-hour sessions.
It also features one-to-one support from a mentor, peer networking, including peer group calls that give you the opportunity to share experiences with other small business leaders and engaging face-to-face sessions that provide in-depth insight into specific topics, including inspirational speaker events and case study workshops.
The first programme cohorts will begin in June 2021. Businesses can register their interest now.
The curriculum of the programme will be designed to support senior managers enhance their skills in areas critical to business growth including leadership, innovation, digital adoption, sustainability, and employee engagement.
Anne Kiem executive director of the SBC and chief executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools said that this "represents a fantastic opportunity" for Britain's SMEs.
"Through evidence-informed business and management education, this timely initiative will help small business leaders to drive their businesses towards growth and give the economy, and the millions employed within it, a much-needed boost," Kiem added.
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