Learnings from the Help to Grow Programme

1st July 2024
Written by Harriet Smith

Image showing cohort of Harriet's Help to Grow programme upon completion

Our Founder and CEO, Harriet, recently completed the Help to Grow Programme (HTG); a government-led initiative to support small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to increase productivity, seize investment opportunities and grow their business. The course is funded by HM Government and delivered by the Small Business Charter. was delivered by Portsmouth University Business School over a period of six months. In this blog, Harriet shares her key learnings from the programme.

I was delighted to come across the Help to Grow programme several years back. The challenge was finding enough time to complete the course on top of a full-time job! After returning from maternity leave in 2023, I felt ready for a challenge and signed up to the HTG programme.

Over the course of six months, 20 fellow business leaders and I undertook 12 modules, covering topics such as innovation and digital transformation through to effective operations and building an engaged workforce. The course was delivered through a combination of online and face-to-face lectures, peer-to-peer learning, access to an alumni network, workbooks and case studies and a growth action plan. We were also able to choose a mentor with extensive business backgrounds to mentor us throughout the programme over ten sessions.

I was able to take away learnings from the sessions to share with the HRS team in collaborative workshops on topics such as growth strategy, client relationship building and company culture. We’ve then taken the outputs from these workshops and implemented them in the business, resulting in impactful and positive change.

I have personally taken away the following benefits from the HTG programme:

  • Reassurance: every business owner is on a learning journey – there is no textbook guide to running a business. Being authentic and sharing the highs and the lows with your cohort is important.
  • Clarity and focus: it’s impossible to implement everything you learn on the programme right away. Focusing on one or two key areas is key, allowing you to experience real impact in your business. Thanks to the virtual learning platform, the knowledge shared on the HTG course can be tapped into as and when time allows.
  • Bigger picture thinking: it’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day of running a business. It’s important to take time to step back and gain perspective on the future, which will help you to consider different directions that your business could take.
  • Academic underpinnings: blending real-life experience of running a business with academic underpinnings can help you to make well-informed decisions, adapt to changing environments and think strategically about the long-term plan.
  • Support network: we’re all in it together! The HTG programme enables you to build a network of diverse business leaders in different sectors. Their differing perspectives and experiences will be invaluable, allowing you to think outside the box.

Further information on the HTG programme: https://www.gov.uk/business-finance-support/help-to-grow-management-uk

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