Help to Grow: Management Course - Frequently Asked Questions


Who can register for the Help to Grow: Management Course?

Leaders and senior management from businesses that have been operating for over a year with between 5 – 249 employees are eligible. If you previously attended the Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP), you are now eligible to send up to two people on the Help to Grow: Management Course, depending on the size of your business. All participants must meet all other criteria below.

How many people from my business can register?

If your business has 10 or more employees, then two participants from the same business can register for the Help to Grow: Management Course. All other criteria remain the same including that they must be a senior leader from the business, 

Why have you set a business size threshold for those businesses who want to send a second participant?  

The addition of a second participant is to support larger businesses accelerate their learnings across different parts of their organisation.

I previously attended the Small Business Leadership (SBLP) course, am I eligible to attend the Help to Grow: Management Course? 

Yes, if you or someone in your business previously attended SBLP and you have 10+ employees, you are able to register up to two people on the Help to Grow: Management Course.

If you or someone in your business previously attended SBLP and you have 5 to 9 employees you can send one participant on the course. 

All participants must meet all other criteria. 

Do part-time staff or freelancers count as employees?

At least 5 of your staff must be permanent members of staff and on your payroll. They can be full-time or part-time, but freelancers or other contractors not on your PAYE are not considered employees for eligibility purposes.

Can social enterprises and charities join the Help to Grow: Management course?

Social enterprises can register as long as they meet the standard eligibility criteria for the programme, but charities are ineligible for the programme.

The Help to Grow: Management Course is designed specifically to support business growth and aims to target businesses who will benefit in a way that impacts growth potential and productivity across the economy.

However, Government recognises the importance of the charitable sector in the UK, and wants to ensure that the sector can continue its vital work supporting the country, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For this reason, it has pledged £750 million to Voluntary, Community, and Social Enterprises, including £200 million for the Coronavirus Community Support Fund delivered by DCMS and the Office for Civil Society.

Costs & payments

How much does the course cost?

The fee businesses pay to attend is £750. The remaining 90% of the course costs are funded by the UK Government.

What is the cost for the second participant? 

The second participant will also be 90% funded by the government, so each participant will pay £750. 

What payment options are there?

When your eligibility has been confirmed, the business school will contact you to take payment of the course fee and discuss payment options with you, which vary depending on the school.

What happens if I can no longer attend the course after I’ve registered?

If you withdraw before the first session because of illness, home schooling or bereavement, the business school can offer a full refund, transfer you to another cohort with the same school, or transfer your place to another colleague from your business.

If you attend the first and/or second session but are unable to continue due to the reasons above you may be able to be transferred to another cohort with the same school at no further cost.

After week three, no refunds or transfers are permitted except in extreme circumstances. In such cases, the maximum amount which can be refunded is 50%. The final decision on this is at the discretion of the business school.

Registration process

How long will it take for my business school to contact me after registration?

Business schools will aim to get in touch with you as soon as possible after registration, but please allow up to 5 days for the school to check your eligibility. If you have any queries, please contact the Small Business Charter team on or 0207 634 9580.

Can I change my course once I’ve registered?

If you need to change your course dates for any reason, please speak to your business school as soon as possible. Due to the limited number of places available within each cohort, we ask that you check your course dates thoroughly when booking.

Attending the course

When does the course start?

Each course has an onboarding date and a module 1 start date. The course’s teaching starts on the module 1 start date. The onboarding session will introduce you to the facilitators and the virtual learning environment. Please register before the onboarding date. All module dates at the school you wish to register for are listed on the Find a Course page.

How long is the course?

The course is 50 hours in total over 12 weeks or approximately 4 hours each week. There may be a short break in the delivery to allow for holidays such as Christmas, Easter or Summer.

Is the course delivered online or in-person?

The course is delivered through a mix of online and face-to-face learning. There are a total of 12 modules. The four case study sessions, in modules 3, 6, 9 and 12, will be taught in person. Each case study session lasts 4 hours so please choose a course delivered at a location convenient to you.

8 of the 12 sessions are 2-hour online webinars, and there are also short weekly facilitated peer group calls with other participants (approx. 30 mins – 1 hour).

You will also receive 10 hours of mentoring from a dedicated business mentor. This time is flexible, and you and your mentor can agree when and how you take this.

Do I have to attend all the sessions? What happens if I can’t make a session?

When you enrol, you are committing to attend at least 39 hours of the course. We would advise that you attend all sessions to benefit from the full experience of the course, but we understand that work can be busy or circumstances may change week to week. If you cannot attend a session, please speak to your business school as soon as possible and depending on circumstances for not attending they will advise next steps.

Does each participant need to attend the same business school and do the course at the same time? 

The first and second participant can either attend the same course and business school, or they can choose to attend the course at a different time and/or at a different business school. Each participant should attend the full course.  

Who will be in my cohort?

The programme is open to senior leaders of businesses with between 5-249 employees, so you will complete your course alongside a mix of participants; business owners, CEOs and other senior business leaders such as those responsible for operations, finance, marketing, and HR, bringing a diversity of experience from a wide range of sectors.

Course content

How can I access the course material?

All course materials are held in the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for the course to which you will have access to as a participant. You will be given login details to the platform before and during your onboarding session ahead of module 1 commencing.

Who is the course facilitator?

The course facilitator will be a small business and enterprise expert from the business school you have chosen. All of the participating business schools have been accredited by the Small Business Charter for their expertise and experience in supporting small businesses.

How has the course been developed?

The curriculum has been created alongside business leaders and industry experts with expertise in growing businesses. It is designed to help you to create a unique Growth Action Plan to begin implementing immediately. Over the course, your plan will be personally tailored to the challenges you face, including an organised set of actions and a plan on a page to share with your employees.

Is the course certified or accredited?

You will receive a certificate of completion at the end of your course. You will need to have completed a minimum of 75% of the course to receive a certificate.


What is the role of the mentor?

The Help to Grow: Management Course mentoring is designed to support you with the development of your Growth Action Plan.

Mentors provide one-to-one support, share knowledge, experience, useful contacts and good practice. Mentors are there to be your critical friend, not make judgement. You will be able to share your thoughts and discuss your business problems. Mentors will treat anything you share with them as confidential.

How do you assign mentors? 

From 1 August 2022 the mentoring element of the course is provided by the Newable consortium.

How much experience will my mentor have?

Your mentor will have a minimum of five years of recent experience leading a small or medium-sized business at a senior level, or equivalent experience working with business leaders on growth, productivity and innovation.

How much mentoring time will I get?

You will receive 10 hours of mentoring from a dedicated business mentor. This time is flexible and you and your mentor can agree when and how you take this.

How much mentoring time will I get if I have two participants from my business?

Each participant will receive 10 hours of mentoring from a dedicated business mentor. This time is flexible and you and your mentor can agree when and how to use this time. 

I have a question about mentoring not covered here

If you have any other questions about mentoring, please contact the Small Business Charter team via

After the course - alumni programme

What happens after the course finishes?

After the 12-week Help to Grow: Management Course, you will be able to join our alumni programme. This programme will offer the opportunity to attend exclusive events, continue to network with your peers, experts and prominent business leaders, access new, exclusive learning material and continue to develop your growth action plan.

Can I continue to access the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) after I have finished the course?

Yes, you will continue to have access to the VLE for six months after you finish the course.