Small Business Leadership Programme

Helping small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to survive and thrive beyond COVID, by developing leaders to drive business resilience, productivity and growth.

What is the Small Business Leadership Programme?

The programme supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19, developing its potential for future growth and productivity. Participants will strengthen their strategic leadership skills and gain the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance. 

Learning is delivered by a consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Who is eligible to participate?

Participants must be in senior management roles, with at least one direct report, in businesses which have been operating for at least one year and with 5-249 employees in England.

Delivery is online through eight 90 minute fully funded sessions, with 2 hours of self-directed study a week. You must be able to commit this amount of time each week. 

Why should I take part?

A man smiling in a grey suit

Nihar Amoncar, Programme Lead

Nihar's journey with small businesses began as a co-founder of a high growth educational enterprise in India. After joining academia, his research domain has been Small Business Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Nihar's research papers have won national and international best paper awards.

Learn more about NiharLearn more about Nihar

Course Content

To aid business survival and future growth in the current climate, the practical curriculum will explore leadership, innovation, employee engagement, operational efficiency, marketing, sustainable practices, and finance.

The programme is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work. Participants will attend eight 90-minute webinars across ten weeks, and complete up to two hours of independent study and peer-supported learning per week. The curriculum will guide you through: 

  1. Innovation and Markets: What is meant by innovation in business? How it impacts on productivity and how to respond and recover from challenges.
  2. Leadership and Employee Engagement: Develop your leadership skills to have a positive effect on the performance of your business; and assess the key elements of employee engagement to achieve high performance.
  3. Vision, Purpose and Brand: Explore your own leadership style and how to get the best out of the people around you; understanding the culture of your business.
  4. Demand Creation and Customer Relationships: Identify key markets for your business and consider your approach to creating customer demand and building customer relationships.
  5. Operational Efficiency: Build a strategic approach to operations management including the use of digital technologies
  6. Finance and Financial Management: Understand the key elements and principles of financial management and the use of financial data to support strategic decision making in your business.
  7. Action Planning and Implementation: Develop an action plan for resilience and productivity in your business, including what key tools and metrics are required to measure your performance.

Learning Outcomes

How much does the programme cost?

The Small Business Leadership Programme is free and fully funded by the Government to support the resilience, recovery and growth of SMEs during and after COVID-19.

The programme will launch in September 2020 with an information session for all interested organisations. To find out more, please complete the form below.

Cohort start dates

Expression of interest

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