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The programmes are giving us the opportunity to reach out to many businesses in the region who would not previously have sought out a relationship with a university.

Our delivery team consists of academic colleagues with strong practitioners’ skills - people who either owned or still own a business. Their academic experience, combined with hands-on experience, means that they understand the challenges of SMEs and can effectively translate theory into practice.

 

Speaking about his experience of the SBLP, Peter Needham, Managing Director of Watermill Plumbing and Heating Ltd, based in Ripon, said: “The course has already given me some quite significant insights, ideas and confirmations of strategies I'm taking with my business. I am finding it really valuable and think it will make a significant difference to what I might achieve. It is pragmatic, inspiring, relevant and to the point, and straight away applicable to my business plans.”

Jo Munns, Director of Ductec Ltd, based in Heckmondwike, added: “The module I have just completed was spot on and extremely thought provoking - there are a lot of simple changes you can make. The peer group was brilliant too, as we all face the same issues and were able to discuss ways of improving what we do together.”

Following the programme, businesses become part of the Leeds Beckett alumni community – allowing them continued access to guest lectures with industry experts, networking events, and the University’s wide range of SME support programmes including part-funded Management Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (mKTPS), Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) courses, and student and graduate recruitment and placements.

Help to Grow is a national programme, delivered by world-class business schools, in collaboration with industry, and accredited by the Small Business Charter - a national accreditation scheme awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.

A total of 30,000 places are available over three years. SMEs from any sector in the UK, that have been operating for more than one year and have between five and 249 employees, are eligible to take part. The participant should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business.