Applications for the government's 'Help to Grow' scheme announced in Budget 2021 have opened. The programme will help small and medium-sized businesses with digital and management training.

The Help to Grow scheme is divided between:

  • Help to Grow: Management: an executive development programme to help improve business performance and growth potential.
    • Up to 90% of training costs will be paid by the government.
  • Help to Grow: Digital: free online advice
    • Up to 50% off Software up to £5000 that could help businesses save time and cut costs.

Help to Grow: Management

What is it?

  • Starting in June, small businesses will be able to access a 12-week Training programme delivered by business schools across the UK.
  • The programme will combine a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network.
  • It is designed to be manageable alongside full-time work.
  • The programme will support small business leaders to develop strategic skills with key modules covering:
    • Financial management.
    • Innovation.
    • Digital adoption.
    • By the end of the programme participants will develop a tailored business growth plan to lead their business to its full potential.
  • There are 30,000 places that will be available for three years.
  • The programme is 90% subsidised by government.
    • Participants will be charged £750.

Which companies are eligible?

  • Eligible companies can be UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than one year, with between 5 to 249 employees.
  • The participant should be a decision-maker or member of the senior management team within the business e.g. Chief Executive, Finance Director etc.
  • Charities are not eligible.

See: Help to Grow: Management registration

Help to Grow: Digital

What is it?

  • Starting this Autumn, small businesses will be able to get free impartial advice on how technology can boost their performance through a new online platform.
  • Eligible businesses will also be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000. Vouchers are initially expected to be available for software that helps businesses:
    • Build customer relationships and increase sales.
    • Make the most of selling online.
    • Manage their accounts and finances digitally.

Who is it for?

All businesses will be able to benefit from free online advice on the platform. The voucher is expected to be available to UK business that:

  • Employ between 5 and 249 employees and are registered at Companies House.
  • Have been trading for more than 12 months.
  • Are purchasing the discounted software for the first time.

Full details on the businesses and software eligible for the voucher will be published this summer.

See: Help to Grow: Digital registration

Useful guides on this topic

Budget 2021: Subscriber guide
The Budget 2021. A summary of key budget announcements together with items published without announcement.

COVID-19: Grant funding for business
What cash grants are available to support businesses during the Cornonavirus crisis? An index with links and summaries.

External links

Help to Grow scheme

Help to Grow: Management registration

Help to Grow: Digital registration


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