Leadership and Management

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£20m training boost for SME leaders

Two government-funded courses, which will be rolled out later this year, are intended to help equip SME owners with the skills to grow their business during the ongoing pandemic.

Last updated: 05 Aug 2020 2 min read

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The government has launched two new leadership programmes designed to help small business leaders grow their companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

£20m has been allocated for the Small Business Leadership Programme  and the Peer Networks Programme . The schemes will be rolled out later this year, with applications for both now being accepted. 

Small Business Leadership Programme

This is a fully funded 10-week course that will be delivered virtually by experts from university business schools. The scheme will be taught through a series of 90-minute webinars, with participants also expected to complete up to two hours of independent weekly study.

The government says the programme “supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of Covid-19”. It will focus on improving business owners’ leadership skills, so that they are better equipped to deal with the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.

To be eligible for the scheme, your business must be a small or medium-sized enterprise based in England that has been operational for at least one year and employs between five and 249 people. 

Peer Networks Programme

This peer-to-peer programme for SMEs will be delivered through a series of virtual group sessions where participants discuss common coronavirus-related business challenges such as the utilisation of new technology. 

The government says it will equip participants with leadership, management and marketing skills that will allow them to grow their business further during this period. The Peer Networks Programme is open to businesses in England that have been operational for over a year, with a turnover of over £100,000 and at least five employees.

Paul Scully, minister for small business, consumers and labour market, commented: “I know from my own experience of running small businesses just how valuable the advice and experience of experts and peers can be when you are looking to grow your company.

“These schemes will help equip small business leaders with the leadership, resilience and problem-solving skills they need to grow their firms in the wake of this pandemic.”

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Leadership and Management