The practical management training programme was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget earlier this year.
The programme is being delivered by business schools with Small Business Charter accreditation, which recognises business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and the local economy.
As an accredited Small Business Charter institution, Sheffield Hallam University’s Sheffield Business School will deliver the course to SME senior leaders across the region. The course is 90% funded by the UK Government and designed to allow participants to complete it alongside full-time work.
The curriculum has been designed with support from industry, using real world case studies that will help small business leaders develop strategic skills to increase their business’s long-term productivity, resilience and capacity to innovate.
Sessions will be delivered both online and face-to-face, with participants engaging in peer-to-peer learning and one-to-one mentoring. Each cohort is guided through the course with a designated Hallam development consultant with sessions led by experts in their field.
SME senior leaders from across Sheffield City Region were joined by Jurga Zilinskiene MBE, CEO and founder of global technology led language services agency, Guildhawk, and Professor Kevin Kerrigan PVC Business and Enterprise.
Jurga discussed the importance of innovation and digital adoption at Guildhawk with participants and how to maintain an entrepreneurial culture within an SME.
Jurga Zilinskiene MBE, CEO and founder of Guildhawk, said: “I couldn’t be happier to be working alongside the University as their new ‘entrepreneur in residence’. And the ‘Help to Grow’ course is a great way to kick our partnership off.
“Our two organisations share a passion for applied knowledge, transforming lives and embracing an age in which experimentation is critical to building a better future. I can’t wait to get started.”
Kevin Kerrigan, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Business and Enterprise at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Enabling business leaders to stand back from the day-to-day, look to the future and think big is critically important if we are to build an advanced economy where creativity and innovation drive growth.
“This programme will be challenging and rewarding for participants and forms a key part of Hallam’s business and leadership offer in the region.”
James Muir, Chair of the South Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “The past 18 months or so have been incredibly tough, and I welcome the Help to Grow scheme to help South Yorkshire SME businesses recover stronger from the pandemic.
“In these unprecedented times, leadership skills are more important than ever, and along with our other South Yorkshire business support programmes, this scheme will give our local business leaders the tools they need to increase their business productivity, resilience and ability to innovate.”
Duncan McCombie, CEO of YES Energy Solutions CIC said: “The course gives me the opportunity to focus on the business not in the business, refreshing skills and updating knowledge following the pandemic and rapid digitalisation.
“Engaging with a network of fellow SME business leaders, with the theory and real-world knowledge of staff at Sheffield Hallam, allows us to translate the concept into practice. This is already leading to improved productivity and opportunities for growth at YES Energy Solutions CIC.”