Using the Government’s Help to Grow Scheme for your Business

The UK government’s ‘Help to Grow’ scheme aims to help business get back on track following lockdowns. Mainly targeting SMEs, the scheme hopes to help small business reach new customers, learn more skills, and ultimately boost profits.

How is Help to Grow set to benefit UK businesses?

Help to Grow is about giving small businesses extra knowledge, skills, and tools to help them grow. It’s a way of upskilling the UK workforce to weather the economic storm we’re all going through.

The £520 million programme is set to help some 30,000 small businesses access advice on going digital as well as management training.

The Treasury has partnered with software companies and business leaders to promote investment in skills and expertise for SMEs up and down the country. The scheme is split into two strands:

  • Help to Grow: Management: Briefly, this programme is to help you learn better management techniques to support both your small business and your employees.
  • Help to Grow: Digital: This aims to help your business advance its tech capabilities through a combination of advice and government-funded 50% discounts on software to help your business level up.

What is the Help to Grow: Management scheme?

Essentially, it’s a 12-week course offering sessions in various parts of the country for small business owners who want to improve their management and strategic skills. Courses are being held at various dates in a range of locations, and aim to help you:

  • Recognise what drives growth and productivity in your industry, helping you understand how this relates to your business.
  • Build on your management and leadership skills to help your employees stay engaged and enhance employee wellbeing.
  • Create a ‘growth action plan’ that’s tailored exactly to your business so that it can better develop and grow.
  • Develop strategies to improve how your business operates every day, helping you save both money and time.
  • Understand how to keep adapting and changing your business model for the better so you can adopt and invest in new and digital technologies.
  • Identify key domestic and export markets that are relevant to your business and develop strategies for market positioning, segmentation and targeting.
  • Learn more about how to implement greener, more sustainable business practices within the workplace.

The training itself is administered by a select group of leading business schools throughout the UK, via a combination of face-to-face and online tuition, plus mentor support. The government also fund 90% of the costs, meaning you only need to pay a relatively small contribution of £750.

The government touts it as a one-of-a-kind opportunity to grow your business for long term success. It’s a chance to have both group and 1:1 sessions with top UK business leaders who are willing to share their experience and expertise. These include the CBI, Goldman Sachs, and NatWest, all reaching out to help you reach your full business potential. Download a course brochure to learn more.

How do I apply for Help to Grow: Management?

Visit the Small Business Charter website to register your interest online. You’ll also be able to check your eligibility, find more course details, and ask any questions using the course contact information.

You must be a senior manager or key decision maker in your business to sign up for the programme, and the business itself must:

  • Be UK-based
  • Not be a charity
  • Have between 5 and 249 employees
  • Have been operating for at least one year

What is Help to Grow: Digital?

The other part of the Help to Grow scheme is Help to Grow: Digital. Having launched in January this year, it offers small businesses advice on how to improve their performance through technology.

Businesses can use the scheme to claim a voucher that gives them a 50% discount on approved software, saving up to £5,000 on the cost of new technology.

How do I apply for Help to Grow: Digital?

SMEs eligible for the grant token must have between 5 and 249 employees and be:

  • A UK company registered with Companies House or on the Financial Conduct Authority’s Mutuals Register
  • Purchasing the software for the first time
  • Incorporated and actively trading for at least a year before they apply for the discount

Qualifying SMEs can only claim a grant token for one technology product. So, if your business already has a grant token for customer relationship management software, you can’t also purchase a token for an ecommerce solution at the moment.

Full details of eligibility for the software grant tokens can be found here. To register your interest initially you do have to be a limited company, because the government will find your business’s details using your Companies House number.

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Liam Cullen

I'm fully AAT qualified, with a passion for straightforward bookkeeping. In my spare time you'll find me using my Everton season ticket.

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