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Small Business Leadership Programme

The Small Business Leadership Programme supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

It helps small and medium-sized businesses to develop their potential for future growth and productivity.

Participants will develop strategic leadership skills and the confidence to make informed decisions to boost business performance. The fully-funded 10 week programme will be delivered online by small business and enterprise experts from world-leading business schools. The Small Business Leadership Programme is being delivered by a consortium of business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC), and supported by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Why choose the Small Business Leadership Programme?

  • Make your business more resilient
  • Boost business performance and growth
  • Create an innovative and agile organisation
  • Recover from the impact of COVID-19
  • Build leadership confidence and effectiveness
  • Plan for the future of your business
  • Build lasting relationships with small business leaders
  • Improve risk management and efficiency

Eligibility requirements

To join the Small Business Leadership Programme:

  • Your business must be a Small or Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) based in England.
  • Your business needs to employ between 5 and 249 people and have been operational for at least one year The participant should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business with at least one person reporting directly to them.
  • The participant must be able to commit to attending the full programme

Your commitment

The programme is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work. Participants will attend eight 90-minute webinars across ten weeks, and complete up to two hours of independent study and peer-supported learning per week.Places are fully funded by the Government to support the resilience, recovery and growth of SMEs during and after COVID-19. The programme is free to attend, and places are limited. All participants will be required to complete the course.

The curriculum

Innovation and Markets

What is meant by innovation in business? How it impacts on productivity and how to respond and recover from challenges.

Leadership and Employee Engagement

Develop your leadership skills to have a positive effect on the performance of your business; and assess the key elements of employ.

Vision, Purpose and Brand 

Explore your own leadership style and how to get the best out of the people around you; understanding the culture of your business.

Demand Creation and Customer Relationships

Identify key markets for your business and consider your approach to creating customer demand and building customer relationships.

Operational Efficiency

Build a strategic approach to operations management including the use of digital technologies.

Finance and Financial Management

Understand the key elements and principles of financial management and the use of financial data to support strategic decision making in your business.

Action Planning and Implementation

Develop an action plan for resilience and productivity in your business, including what key tools and metrics are required to measure your performance.