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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo


Join over 30,000 small business leaders on the Help to Grow: Management programme accredited by the Small Business Charter and delivered by world-class business schools across the country.

Help to Grow: Management is a UK government funded programme to help SME business leaders increase productivity, seize investment opportunities, and grow their business. Previous alumni have reported that this programme has helped them drive their business forward, as it enables you to focus on a specific challenge or opportunity for your business that combines taking on new knowledge, which is embedded into the business plan that you get full support in compiling through taught sessions and through dedicated mentoring. Previous action plans have focussed on driving diversification of offering, to designing commercialisation strategies, understanding them, and setting specific growth targets. Other organisations are using this programme to support staff development in understanding wider business and strategic elements and as part of talent and succession planning.

Solent University is proud to deliver this programme to business leaders from across the Central South region by staff with the practical business experience and the latest business insights to support you. Business truly is in our DNA at Solent, with Theo Paphitis as our Chancellor, and being ranked in the top 30 universities in the UK for business management and marketing.

91% of previous participants have said they would
recommend the Help To Grow: Management course.
(Small Business Charter 2023).

Want to find out more? Why not contact us to speak to our experts, or find out if any taster sessions are happening, or simply register your interest and we'll be in touch! Register your interest

About the course


The course is a blend of online and face-to-face sessions. With just one session a week, it's designed to fit around existing work and personal commitments.


12 weeks

Course details

  • 10 hours of 1:1 mentoring from a business expert to help you and your business grow.
  • A carefully designed practical curriculum.
  • Development of a bespoke business growth plan to help your business and team reach their full potential.
  • Range of peer networking sessions with a chance to share experiences and best practice.
  • Access to the nationwide alumni network which includes guest speakers, bespoke business clinics, and networking events.


The programme is fully funded for eligible applicants as it will be 90% funded by the government and 10% by the business school at Solent University.


Onboarding dateStart date 

5 March 2024

12 March 2024



  • Be a small- or medium-sized enterprise (SME) based in the UK.
  • Be from any industry sector and employ between 5 and 249 people.
  • Have been operational for at least one year.
  • Be a decision-maker or member of the senior management team, such as chief executive, finance director, operations director, etc.
  • If your business employs between 10 and 249 people, you can send up to two participants on the course.
  • Previous participants on the Small Business Leadership Programme can also join the course.
A group of mature students working together


The course is a really good opportunity to take a step back, evaluate what's happened in your business in the last two years, and plan for the future. Access to a mentor is a real benefit and will help you grow your business.

Emma Budd, Account Director, Etch

The people who have been involved in delivery of the Help to Grow: Management course at Solent University have been 100% dedicated and their passion comes through in each subject matter they present.

James Jury, Director, QGate Software Limited


Leaders and senior management from businesses that have been operating for over a year with between 5 and 249 employees are eligible.

If you previously attended the Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP), you are now eligible to send up to two people on the Help to Grow: Management Course, depending on the size of your business.

The course is 50 hours in total over 12 weeks, for approximately four hours each week. There may be a short break in the delivery to allow for holidays such as Christmas, Easter or summer.

  • Strategy and Innovation
  • Digital Adoption
  • Internationalisation and Winning New Markets
  • Vision, Mission and Values
  • Developing a Marketing Strategy
  • Building a Brand
  • Organisational Design
  • Employee Engagement and Leading Change
  • High Performance Workplaces
  • Efficient Operations
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Implementing Growth Plans

Solent has a rich history in business with the current chancellor being the world-renowned Theo Paphitis. The University is located in the heart of the city and is easily accessible by all modes of transport. With a car park on site, bus station a five minute walk away and train station a 10 minute walk away, all transport requirements are catered for.

Our facilities are industry leading with The Spark building as the centre-piece of the Solent campus. The on-site sessions will take place in the state-of-the-art settings and participants will get to experience these to the fullest.

Delivered in association with

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy logo
HM Treasury logo
Small Business Charter logo