From education to employment

Salford Business School pledges support to city’s entrepreneurs               

Collaboration, employee engagement

University of Salford Business School is supporting some of the region’s rising entrepreneurs to further bolster their businesses through management training, amidst the current challenging climate for employers.

All eligible finalists at the Salford Business Awards have been given free access to the School’s government-backed Help to Grow: Management course.

According to data from the UK Government, SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) account for 99.9% of the business population, highlighting the pivotal role they play in the economy. In addition, data from the Federation of Small Businesses confirms SMEs make up three-fifths of employment, equating to 16.4 million, and around half of turnover in the UK private sector, estimated at £2.1 trillion.

With the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in recent weeks reporting 7 in 10 businesses have some form of concern for their business, including around inflation and energy prices, successfully leading an organisation during times of crisis is becoming increasingly more difficult.

For this reason, Salford Business School has pledged to support some of the city’s entrepreneurs and business leaders through the Help to Grow: Management course, which has already proven to successfully further develop those in management positions. In fact, over 60% of SME leaders surveyed, who have completed the course, said they had improved their leadership and management skills; while within six weeks of completing, almost two thirds said they had increased awareness of factors that drive business productivity.

The programme is currently 90% government-funded, with the School covering the remaining 10% for senior leaders at local businesses including, Bunch Floral Design, IN4 Group, Mr Investa and The Laser Lounge, amongst others, to help enhance their leadership and drive strategic growth.

Lucie Grech, Founder and Director of The Laser Lounge, and Entrepreneur Award winner at Salford Business Awards, commented:

“I still can’t believe I won and with such strong competition. It really has meant the world to me, being from Salford and running my business here, to get this recognition.

“Being given the opportunity to complete the Help to Grow: Management course will also be invaluable. If anything, just having access to this mentoring and professional guidance, while being able to take a step away from the day-to-day of the business to develop more of a strategic plan that will take us to the next level will be incredibly beneficial. Ultimately, this is what will help us to grow and take us another step closer to reaching the goals we’ve set.”

Over the next few years, Lucie has plans to franchise her business and move into new spaces, including creating a community for young businesswomen to network and share best practice. After experiencing her own challenges, particularly around securing funding, she wants to help other women under 30 who are also entrepreneurial and have that business drive, but are struggling to access support.

Dr Francine Morris, Associate Dean for Enterprise and Engagement at Salford Business School, added:

“The landscape for all businesses right now is challenging to say the least. However, for SMEs who make great contributions to the UK economy but often have less capital behind them to ride tough times, it’s even harder.

“SMEs represent the vast majority of businesses not only in the north west, but across the UK and are an essential part of our innovation ecosystem, which is why supporting this community is an integral part of our strategy here at Salford Business School.”

The Help to Grow: Management course is open to all businesses with between five and 249 employees, who would like support to scale their company. Covering everything from enhancing management and strategic capabilities, as well as improving employee engagement, to building resilience, learning how to innovate and driving digital transformation, the programme comprises a range of modules to help businesses grow domestically and across international markets.

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