CLEC (Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre) at Cardiff Metropolitan University, in partnership with Bangor University, has just celebrated the achievements of 20 Welsh SME leaders. They are the first group at Cardiff Met to complete the Government-backed Help to Grow Management programme and the feedback has been excellent.
The Help to Grow programme at Cardiff Met is exclusively for business owners and senior leaders operating in small and medium-sized businesses, and who are keen to grow their organisations, improve their leadership skills and access mentoring to help to solve problems in their organisations.
Jon Oliver is Director of B and B Industrial Doors, a Caerphilly -based company who manufacture roller shutter doors, who took part in the course to both develop himself and invest in his business, while also aligning with the business’s own growth aspirations and ethos. Jon said:
“What a great experience. I thought I understood how a business is run until I went through the Help to Grow programme.
“To have the time to reflect and listen to the professors/tutors and guest speakers, and that we had the benefit of asking questions and learning from over the programme was invaluable. The whole programme has opened my mind..
“Just taking time to understand my customers and developing customer personas has been interesting. The whole journey through the programme has been a fantastic experience and I would recommend anyone to do it.”
Above: Programme facilitator Liz Flint (Left), Help to Grow Participant Jon Oliver (right)
What is the Help To Grow: Management programme?
The programme provides 1-1 mentorship and world-class training for leaders of small and medium-sized businesses.
Delivered by Cardiff Metropolitan University and accredited to the Small Business Charter, Help To Grow: Management includes 50 hours of in depth training, 1:1 business mentoring, and the opportunity to grow your business, fast.
The programme costs just £750 (course worth £6750) and is 90% subsidised by the UK government.
Designed to be manageable alongside full-time work, you can take part around your existing work commitments and access learning through a blend of short online and face-to-face sessions.
A Deeper Understanding of Business
Chris Watts is Managing Director and Lead Physiotherapist at Back2Front Physiotherapy Ltd, a Physiotherapy and massage business based in Aberdare. He completed the course to grow his business and look at the strategic direction of the business. Chris said:
“Having received no formal business training in my physio degree, I chose to enrol on the Help to Grow course and I’m so glad that I did. Each module encourages you to delve deeper into the structure of your business, understand why you are doing what you are doing and strategies to make your company bigger and better.”
Chris was also impressed by the module content, with “each module delving deeper into the structure of your business”.
Chris added: “You’re able understand why you are doing what you are doing and strategies to make your company bigger and better. As a micro business you can get suffocated by your day-to-day processes, but Help to Grow has taught me that to take a step forward, you need to take a step back to evaluate.”
Above: Programme facilitator Liz Flint (Left), Help to Grow Participant Chris Watts (right)
Professor David Brooksbank, Dean of Cardiff School of Management, said:
“Our first cohort of SMEs came from across Wales and included business owners in manufacturing, construction, marketing and communications, hospitality and tourism, engineering and professional services.
“This provided opportunities for learning approaches to leading business growth from a diverse and fascinating group of companies.”
New Possibilities in Business
Anna Gresty, Managing Director of TP Transcription Ltd in Denbigh, North Wales attended the course to get help with business growth and development. Anna said:
“I found Help to Grow incredibly useful. It has made me think about the business, business growth and development, together with the future of the business. It has created lots of new possibilities and actions I am really looking forward to trying and implementing.”
“It is really difficult as a business owner to get specialist guidance and advice on running and operating a business. My mentor has been an invaluable support, guiding me through the course and offering the chance to discuss my specific challenges.
“The course gave me a really good grounding in all aspects of management, as well as creating pause for thought and allowing me to develop contacts in Wales.”
Supporting Businesses at Cardiff Metropolitan University
Help to Grow is just one part of the support that Cardiff Metropolitan University offers to local businesses, which includes a range of professional leadership and management courses such as the 20Twenty Leadership Programme, networking opportunities, research collaboration, Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, and opportunities to work with our students.
Professor Brooksbank added: “Delivering the programme in partnership with Bangor University, enabled businesses across Wales to come together to their share ideas and learn from one another.
“This proved to be a real benefit of delivering via a hybrid model of learning, allowing businesses to capitalise on the additional support provided by our team of outstanding academics, the programme facilitator and business mentors.”
You can find out more about the Help to Grow at Cardiff Met University and register on the next cohort below.