Leading to Grow Programme for micro-businesses

— 14.01.20

by Caroline Foster

The fully funded Leading to Grow Programme will support small businesses to grow, innovate and increase productivity through adopting digital and new technologies. Click here to apply to participate.

The programme will help small business owners and entrepreneurs to explore digital and new technologies suited to their business goals, and to develop the management capabilities they need to implement the technologies.

We are proud to offer this exciting programme as part of a consortium of business schools across England accredited by the Small Business Charter.

The University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities with almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe. A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines. Sheffield University Management School is Triple Crown Accredited by the world's leading accreditation bodies: AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. This is an endorsement of the quality of our programmes, research output, support for students and alumni, and links with industry. Our global reputation combined with cutting-edge business thinking offer you a unique opportunity to receive one-to-one tailored support suited to your business goals

Participation is free to eligible ‘microbusinesses’ with between 1-9 employees. Places are fully funded by the Business Basics Fund from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK. Due to anticipated demand, and limited spaces, we recommend you register early to secure your place for one of the initial workshops.

Apply now

The Leading to Grow Programme benefits:

  • Develop your management capabilities to introduce digital and new technologies into your business
  • Help you to analyse the costs and benefits so that you can make informed decisions about the right technology for your business
  • Support you to maximise the benefits of digital and new technology in order to increase productivity and performance of your business
  • Help you to encourage innovation and improve employee engagement within your business
  • Create insights and knowledge to support other businesses like yours in future
  • Offers potential readiness for future ‘Scale-Up’ programmes

Programme features:

  • A half-day workshop led by small business experts at a local business school.
  • Tailored support and expertise specifically designed for your business needs
  • A network of small business leaders in your area focused on growth
  • A peer-learning environment and input from successful business leaders based in your region
  • An impartial overview of new technologies that can help you to grow your business
  • The opportunity to receive further one-to-one tailored support throughout the programme

Eligibility criteria

Your business must:

  • Be registered with Companies House and have a trading history of three years or more.
  • Employ between 1 and 9 people
  • Not have participated on a formal programme to raise productivity delivered by a business school in the last 12 months

Apply now

Dates and location

Either the 17 or 21 February - you can do either but do not need to attend both. You may not need to attend the April date, but please be free for this before accepting as we will not know until the study begins.

  • Monday 17 February 9am-1pm
  • Friday 21 February 9am-1pm
  • Friday 24 April 9am-1pm

Location: Inox Dine, Students Union Building The University of Sheffield, Durham Rd Sheffield, S10 2TG. Refreshments Included.

Background on the programme


The Business Basics Fund supports projects that test methods of encouraging small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to boost their productivity through ways of working and technology. The fund is administered by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

National trial

Participants on the programme will be part of an important national trial. All participants will attend a half-day workshop led by small business experts at a local business school. As part of the trial, 50% of the businesses will be selected at random to receive one-to-one mentoring support with an Entrepreneur-In-Residence. The impact of the programme on all participating businesses will be evaluated to inform the development of future programmes.

The Small Business Charter and partner business schools

The Small Business Charter is a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools who excel in supporting small businesses, student enterprise, and the local economy.

The Leading to Grow Programme workshops and training will be provided by experts at 15 business schools that have been accredited by the Small Business Charter.

Apply now