Business Secretary names top business brains supporting new Help to Grow training scheme

Kwasi Kwarteng

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng has issued a rallying cry to British businesses, inviting them to scale up through the government’s Help to Grow: Management scheme, but it looks like it’s only open to businesses which employ more than five people.

Speaking during Scaleup Week, the Business Secretary unveiled the members of the scheme’s Expert Advisory Council, including Confederation of British Industry (CBI) President Lord Karan Bilimoria, Natwest CEO Alison Rose and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs Charlotte Keenan. (editor’s note – very London-centric – what about the regions Business Secretary Kwarteng?).

The council will provide expert insight to ensure the programme meets the needs of small businesses.

The Help to Grow: Management scheme is a new executive training programme delivered by the UK’s leading business schools (editor’s note – how is this different from all the others?). This 12-week course will combine a practical curriculum with 1:1 mentoring from a business expert, peer-learning sessions to give businesses the opportunity to learn from one another, and an alumni network.

By the end of the programme participants will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead their business to its full potential.

The scheme is 90 per cent government-funded and will launch at the end of June. It will help small, enterprising businesses to seize every opportunity to grow and is an important part of the government’s Plan for Jobs, promoting opportunity and boosting employment as we recover from the pandemic.

Applications have opened for the first business schools. Businesses can also register their interest in the scheme now. Courses will begin from the end of June. (editor’s note…. I just tried to register but apparently, despite co-owning a publishing company which has been successfully trading for five years and is growing again after Covid-19, I’m not eligible). 

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “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.”

Help to Grow: Management aims to support 30,000 small business leaders to increase productivity, invest and grow their business, while levelling-up productivity across the UK.

The members of the Expert Advisory Council appointed by HM Treasury are:

  • Charlotte Keenan (Chair) – Managing Director Goldman Sachs
  • Alison Rose- Chief Executive NatWest Group
  • Tera Allas CBE, Director of Research and Economics, McKinsey (Member of BtB Productivity Leadership Group)
  • Mark Hart, Deputy Director, Enterprise Research Centre (ERC)
  • Anthony Impey MBE, CEO, Be the Business (Member of BtB Productivity Leadership Group)
  • Ann Francke OBE, CEO, The Chartered Management Institute
  • Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE DL, President, Confederation of British Industry
  • Byron Dixon OBE, CEO of Micro-fresh
  • Karen Lynch, Non-Executive Director for Social Enterprise UK
  • Nickyl Raithatha, CEO at Moonpig and Managing Director at Moonpig PhotoBox