Short Course

Help to Grow: Management

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Help to Grow: Management is an executive development programme to support SMEs to boost their business performance and growth potential. Small business leaders will develop their strategic skills to increase their business’s long-term productivity, resilience and capacity to innovate.

Two individuals in smart attire alongside one another

Course overview

Through this programme business leaders develop their leadership and management skills together with the confidence and tools to implement change within their business and adopt new and improved business practices. The goal is for the business to experience productivity growth and become more resilient and sustainable in the long term.  Practical application and embedding of the learning is crucial.

Help to Grow: Management is a UK government initiative to help small and medium sized businesses boost their business performance and growth potential.

The programme has been developed by the Chartered Association of Business Schools in partnership with world-class business schools who hold Small Business Charter accreditation and who have come together to develop a practical management programme for senior leaders in business.   

What you need to know

Course start date

January 2024


Blended Learning

Course length

12 weeks


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Typical offer

Business Owner



Course features

  • Delivered by our leading academics and experienced practitioners.
  • Winchester University Business School holds the Small Business Charter Award.

Course details


Blended learning; taught elements of the course will be delivered on campus in Winchester and Distance Learning.

Learning and teaching

The course is delivered both online and on-campus, and takes 50 hours over 12 weeks to complete. The course is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work.

Peer Groups consist of around 5 participants and are established at the beginning of the programme. The Peer Group calls are virtual Teams calls of one hour involving the members of the peer group and a facilitator, sharing their experiences in relation to that module's content and their business.

Tasks related to webinar content are completed by participants in their own time using tools and materials on the virtual learning environment. Tasks are discussed in facilitated peer groups calls.

Participants will be matched by the business school with a mentor/business adviser whose role is to help them apply the learning to their business and support them in developing a business growth plan that is right for them.

The case study sessions will be delivered at the University of Winchester, West Down Centre, Romsey Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR.

The online virtual-learning components of the course will be delivered via Canvas. Due to government regulations, Instructure (Canvas) prohibits the unauthorised use of its products and services in specific countries and regions. Please see the guidance as documented by Canvas.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to


Strategy and Innovation

Explore factors that drive productivity and growth in SMEs and consider what this means in your own business context

  • Build confidence at business modelling.
  • Develop your value proposition.
  • Identify activities that create the greatest value and returns.
Digital Adoption

Understand how to innovate your business model, and develop a strategic approach to successfully adopting and investing in new and digital technologies to drive competitive advantage

  • Recognise how digital adoption can contribute to business success and growth.
  • Develop an understanding of digitisation as a process of innovation and identify a Digital Adoption pathway to support your business model.
  • Identify your priority areas for business development.
  • Understand the role of digital leadership and recognise digital enablers relevant for your business.
  • Consider the risks, and vulnerabilities of a digitised environment and countermeasures for mitigating risk​.
  • Map out and evaluate Digital Adoption initiatives for your own organisation
Internationalisation and Winning New Markets

Identify key domestic and export markets for your business.

  • Identify Key motivations and drivers of market development. ​
  • Explore strategy decision-making tools - choosing global regions​.
  • Moving out of the comfort zone​ - breakthroughs to operate in new markets. 
  • Apply relevant tools to help assess/develop new markets for your business.
Vision, Mission and Values

Explore the strategic value of vision, purpose and brand, their link to the customer value proposition and their role in achieving competitive advantage

  • Understand relationships between vision, mission and purpose of an organisation.  ​
  • Consider the nature and elements of your internal culture and explore why this is important and how it links to your customer value propositions. ​
  • ​Map out and evaluate options for your own organisation.
Building a Brand

Identify strategies for market segmentation, positioning and targeting in the context of your competitive environment

  • Evaluate your current segmentation strategies for existing / potential customers.
  • Look at ‘targeting’ and ‘positioning’ ​and map out your current market position. ​
  • Explore the consumer decision-making process, and marketing ‘Ps’​
  • Map out and evaluate options for your organisation. ​
Developing a Marketing Strategy

Review the culture, values and decision-making in your business in relation to building your brand

  • Understand how a business built a market-leading brand and continued to serve its clients and consumers' needs through fast-changing times.
  • Reflect on challenges to overcome.
  • Appreciate how to stay true to purpose and values.
  • Consider strategic actions and tools to support the brand and marketing strategy for your own business.
Organisational Design

Explore how to build capacity for growth in your business by looking at structures, skills and governance needed in the business now and as it grows.

  • Recognise what growth is and what it takes to grow a business​
  • Understand why it is necessary to evolve the shape of the organisation to implement growth
  • Consider business agility and being an agile organisation​
  • Being agile and growing – you will look at the dynamic capabilities of your business​
Employee Engagement and Leading Change

Developing your leadership and management skills to facilitate the introduction of management practices to enhance employee wellbeing and effective teams through employee engagement.

Understand the need and benefits of embedding equality, diversity and inclusion practices within your business.

  • Know the concept of Relational Leadership and the importance of this for leading effective change.
  • Explore the human side of change, how people experience it and how they react to it. 
  • Recognise the impact of your own leadership approach as a key enabler for growth in your business.
  • Explore strategies for successfully leading change in an inclusive and engaging way.
  • Utilise tools and resources collaboratively within the business to lead your team towards strategic goals. 
Leading for high performance

Creating a High Performance Workplace

  • Be aware of purpose and leadership style and its contribution to employee engagement and dealing with change. ​
  • Review methods for developing employee engagement​.
  • Consider structure and its contribution to employee engagement and agile working.​
  • Reflect on Organisational Design (Module 7) and Employee Engagement and Leading Change (Module 8) in relation to your own business​.
Effective Operations

Identify strategies to improve operational efficiency in your business.

  • Understand the role of operations within your business and how to take a systemic approach to aligning operations with marketing strategy. ​
  • Analyse the operations within your business. ​
  • Consider an approach to key measurements and continuous improvement that engages teams and creates a culture of continuous improvement
  • Recognise how your operations improvement strategy contributes towards your Growth Action Plan. ​
Finance and Financial management

Be aware of key elements and principles of financial management and understand the value of data analytics and key metrics to monitor growth and support strategic decision making in your business.

  • Use financial data to make informed decisions about future operations.
  • Understand the importance of cash flow forecasting in managing crisis and recovery.
  • Know how to put a cash flow forecast together.
  • Consider options for financing growth and Identify external finance options available and where to source information and advice​.
Implementing Growth Plans

Your Growth Action Plan – where next?

  • Collaborate with others in the business to develop an action plan for growth and productivity
  • Identification of key tools and metrics.

Entry requirements

Business Owner

To join the programme, you must be a senior manager or key decision maker in your business.

To be eligible, your business must:

- have been operating for more than one year
- be based in the UK
- have between five and 249 employees

Book Now

To find out more about the programme please contact:

Unfortunately, this government initiative does not extend to charities.

No International Entry Requirements for this course.

This course is available for health care professionals.

Additional costs

For information about staff and student discounts please contact the short course administrator