The Help To Grow: Management Scheme was announced the by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng on Tuesday 18th May 2021. The aim of the scheme is to attract SMEs (small to medium enterprises) to come forward and undertake training and guidance in order to start operating successfully again as lockdown is slowly lifted.
Overseeing the program scheme, Kwarteng also unveiled the members of the scheme’s Expert Advisory Council, including Confederation of British Industry (CBI) President Lord Karan Bilimoria, Natwest’s CEO Alison Rose and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Charlotte Keenan. This council will look to ensure that the management scheme will be executed to the highest calibre, providing people with informative and insightful knowledge that can be taken away and used in their own businesses.
The Help to Grow: Management scheme is a training programme which will be delivered by the UK’s leading business schools. It will be a 12-week course combining a practical curriculum with one-to-one mentoring from a business expert, peer-learning sessions as well as an alumni network.
Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, this programme will support small business leaders to develop their strategic skills with key modules covering financial management, innovation and digital adoption. At the end of the 12-week course, participants will have developed a tailored business growth plan that will hopefully kickstart their business credentials into action.
The scheme is 90% government-funded and will launch at the end of June 2021. Here’s all you need to know:
What Are The Help To Grow Schemes & Who Are Eligible?
The Help To Grow: Management Scheme is aimed to aid and educate small, enterprising businesses to seize every opportunity to grow and is an important part of the government’s Plan for Jobs overall scheme, promoting opportunity and boosting employment as recovery from the pandemic continues.
The management scheme aims to support 30,000 small business leaders to increase productivity, investment and growth in their business, whilst levelling-up productivity across the UK. This will be achieved through modern management techniques and business technologies, helping to unlock potential at an economic time where it’s most needed.
To join the Help to Grow: Management Scheme, your business must:
- Be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) based in the United Kingdom
- From any business sector, employing between 5 and 249 people
- Have been operational for at least one year
- Not be a charity
The applicant must also:
- Be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business, such as Chief Executive, Finance Director, Operations Director etc.
- Commit to completing all sessions.
The Help To Grow: Management Scheme is part of a double package from the government, with the Help To Grow: Digital Scheme coinciding to offer a quality collection of support and learning for the public to access and experience.
The Help To Grow: Digital Scheme, which is expected to begin this Autumn, provides businesses with free impartial advice on how technology can boost their performance through a new online platform. Eligible businesses will also be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. Vouchers are initially expected to be available for software that helps businesses:
- To build customer relationships and increase sales.
- To make the most of selling online.
- To manage their accounts and finances digitally.
All businesses will be able to benefit from free online advice on the platform. Eligibility for the voucher discount is expected to be for UK businesses that:
- Employ between 5 and 249 employees and are registered at Companies House.
- Have been trading for more than 12 months.
- Are purchasing the discounted software for the first time.
As well as the Help To Grow scheme, the Government have also pledged to support small businesses through:
- facilitating over £8 billion of finance through the British Business Bank, which is supporting more than 90,000 SMEs. The Start Up Loans programme, also operated by the British Business Bank, has delivered more than 80,000 loans across the UK with a value of more than £722.3 million since the programme’s launch in 2012.
- an action plan to unlock over £20billion of investment in innovative and high potential businesses. As part of this, British Patient Capital – a wholly owned commercial subsidiary of the British Business Bank – has been given £2.5 billion to support UK businesses with high growth potential to access the long-term financing they need to scale up.
- tackling late payments, including through the Small Business Commissioner and the recently relaunched Prompt Payment Code, which is setting standards and best practice in payment culture.
Why Have The Government Introduced The Help To Grow Schemes?
The government’s announcement of the Help To Grow Schemes comes at a time when businesses are slowly adapting to operating through the easing of lockdown. Through monumental government lending during the pandemic, one of the government’s main priorities is to boost business, which in turn should lift the UK economy to pre-COVID levels sooner than expected.
Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng stated, “After such a challenging year for British businesses, Scaleup Week is the time for shining a light on how fast-growing firms are adopting new tech and ways of working to shake up how they do things. Helping small businesses to learn from the best will be central to building back better from the pandemic. Our new A-Team of experts will ensure 30,000 small and medium sized firms across the UK get the very best advice on how to innovate, reach new customers and boost profits so they can expand operations and create more job opportunities.”
In addition to this, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, commented, “Growing our small businesses, upskilling our workforce and driving investment are at the very heart of our plan for jobs. Our Help to Grow scheme will equip thousands of SMEs with the skills and technological know-how that will allow them to succeed. It’s great to have a strong line up of distinguished business leaders on board to help deliver this ambitious programme.”
How Do I Register For The Help To Grow Schemes?
We hope this has outlined to you exactly what the Help To Grow: Management Scheme and Help To Grow: Digital Scheme are and whether you are eligible. If you require any more information on any government COVID-19 loans, grants and schemes, or anything accounting related for that matter, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us at Nordens where one of our trusted advisors would be happy talking you through your query.