From education to employment

Promising SME leaders sought for £10,000 training and development grant

  • The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub opens applications for the February 2019 intake of its SME Leaders Programme
  • 10 successful applicants will receive grant funding of up to £10,000 to support training needs

The Royal Academy of Engineering has opened a new round of applications for its 2019 SME Leaders programme. Delivered by the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, the programme aims to develop the leadership and business skills of the leaders of the UK’s most promising high-growth engineering SMEs.

The SME Leaders programme will grant successful applicants funding of up to £10,000 towards the cost of their training course. They will also become members of the Academy’s Enterprise Hub where they can benefit from personal mentoring, one to one coaching and monthly masterclasses.

Leadership skills are a crucial component in helping to drive SME growth, and particularly important in the engineering profession as 27% of enterprises in the UK are engineering-led. Recent research from the Scale Up Institute found that a major skills gap in leadership capacity is holding back UK startup companies.

Applications to the programme are sought from leaders of engineering startups and SMEs across the UK. Entries for the February 2019 intake must be submitted by 16.00 BST on 26 November 2018 via the Academy’s online grant system.

One of the programme’s alumni Jenny Griffiths MBE, CEO of Snap Tech, said: “I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the 2017 SME Leaders Programme and found it a great opportunity to further enhance the business skills needed to scale up Snap Tech.”

Snap Tech is a visual search platform that matches editorial imagery and user-generated content to a retail product recommendation. Since its first round of capital investment in 2012, the company has raised a further £2.3 million.

Jenny continued: “From my experience, having a great engineering idea just isn’t enough; to successfully scale the company you need to continue to build the business skills to match. Through a number of training opportunities and an extensive support network, the Hub’s programme ensures leaders walk away with the necessary skills to successfully upscale their business.”

Ana Avaliani, Head of Enterprise at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “The SME Leaders Programme has been running for 18 months and we have been pleased with the progress our current intake has made with many of them practicing their leadership skills – whether launching their first products, raising funds to grow, or entering new markets. The Enterprise Hub exists to provide the skills and support we know are essential in inspiring belief in engineering enterprise. We look forward to receiving some more high quality applications for this round.”

Since 2013, the Enterprise Hub has supported over 100 entrepreneurs and SMEs, helping to develop ideas into investable, high-growth companies.

To date the SME Leaders programme has supported 32 leaders in engineering across sectors such as space technology, artificial intelligence and manufacturing to unlock investment, prepare for rapid growth and establish compelling company cultures to excel in talent acquisition.

For more information on the SME Leaders programme please click here

How to apply for the SME Leaders programme

Apply by 16.00 BST on 26 November 2018 to join the SME Leaders programme in February 2019.

All applications must be submitted via the Academy’s online grant system:

Applications must be submitted by the leader (Founders, MDs, or C-level executives) of the engineering SME, which must be UK based. Applications from both engineers and non-engineers are welcome. Employee-submitted applications will not be accepted.

We are committed to improving diversity and inclusion in engineering, and we especially welcome applications from those currently under-represented within the profession.

If you have any questions concerning the application or the online grant system, please contact the Enterprise team at [email protected].

Press contact:

For further media information please contact the Enterprise Hub press office at Good Relations on [email protected]

About the Enterprise Hub: The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub is a national resource for the UK’s most promising engineering entrepreneurs. The Hub forms part of the Academy’s commitment to stimulate excellence and promote creativity and innovation in engineering. The Hub does this by making awards to exemplars of excellence and innovation in engineering who will be the founders and leaders of tomorrow’s high-tech companies. The awards include provision of money-can’t-buy bespoke support and one-to-one mentoring from its Fellowship, which comprises many of the country’s most successful engineers from across academia and industry, including prominent entrepreneurs and business leaders such as Mike Lynch OBE FREng, Sir Robin Saxby FREng, Anne Glover CBE HonFREng and Ian Shott CBE FREng. The Royal Academy of Engineering opened the Taylor Centre – a physical home for the Enterprise Hub with meeting and networking facilities for its Members – in February 2017.

As the UK’s national academy for engineering and technology, we bring together the most successful and talented engineers from academia and business – our Fellows – to advance and promote excellence in engineering for the benefit of society.

About the Royal Academy of Engineering: We harness their experience and expertise to provide independent advice to government, to deliver programmes that help exceptional engineering researchers and innovators realise their potential, to engage the public with engineering and to provide leadership for the profession.

We have three strategic challenges:

Make the UK the leading nation for engineering innovation

Address the engineering skills crisis

Position engineering at the heart of society

We bring together engineers, policy makers, entrepreneurs, business leaders, academics, educators and the public in pursuit of these goals.

Engineering is a global profession, so we work with partners across the world to advance engineering’s contribution to society on an international, as well as a national scale.

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