Government launches £520m Help to Grow scheme for SMEs

In the March 2021 budget, the government announced a ‘Help to Grow’ initiative, providing £520 million to help SMEs recover from the Covid pandemic by adopting digital technologies and providing management training to boost productivity, innovation and future growth.

The initiative contains two schemes, ‘management’ and ‘digital’.

Help to Grow: Management

This scheme will offer MBA-style management training to SMEs with the aim of increasing innovation and boosting growth.

It will provide SMEs with access to subsidised management training provided by leading British business schools, covering topics from marketing to the management of finances. Dozens of business schools across the UK will provide 50 hours of tuition in addition to one-on-one support with a business mentor, to build the skills of SME leaders and ultimately, increase efficiency, productivity, and growth.

30,000 places will be available over 3 years. The programme is 90% subsidised by government – participants will be charged £750.

UK businesses from any sector that have been operating for more than 1 year, with between 5 to 249 employees are eligible.

The participant should be a decision maker or member of the senior management team within the business e.g., Chief Executive, Finance Director etc.

Help to Grow: Digital

This scheme will provide SMEs with discounted software and expert advice on how to best utilise it.

It will create an online platform offering free advice on tech to help businesses save time and reduce costs. SMEs may also be eligible to obtain vouchers offering 50% off the purchase of productivity-enhancing software, up to a total of £5,000 each.

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

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.

To register find out more and register your interest visit https://helptogrow.campaign.gov.uk/


This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.

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