Government launches £ 520 million aid program for SMEs

The Help to Grow program aims to increase business productivity

UPDATED: The Aid to Growth program announced in today’s budget could help 130,000 small and medium-sized enterprises.

Help to Grow provides access to management training, technology advice, and scaled-down software to improve productivity.

This plan will give access to some of the best business schools in the UK while encouraging more companies to adopt technology in the hopes of opening up opportunities for small businesses that larger companies can normally afford.

Business schools also offer individual support from a mentor.

The scheme has two streams:


Digital will be an online service that offers free advice on how companies can improve their digital skills and allows them to receive coupons for 50 percent off approved software.

Coupons are initially expected to be available for software that will help businesses:

• Build customer relationships and increase sales
• Make the most of selling online
• Manage your accounts and finances digitally


The 12-week management program offers subsidized management training to improve leadership skills in areas such as financial management and digital adoption.

An impressive 30,000 places will be available within three years. The program is 90 percent government subsidized, so participants have to pay £ 750.

Companies can register their interest on the Help to Grow website

In response, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chairman Mike Cherry said:

“Projects like this really make a difference to small businesses looking to change the way they work, broaden their horizons and strengthen the economy for everyone.

“We have argued that the UK’s productivity challenge calls for practical changes to help small businesses improve their business and drive efficiency and growth. This means more of a “new-to-firm” approach to innovation, e.g. For example, helping small businesses access things like the cloud, where less than half (40 percent) are currently using cloud services.

“With all digital systems, it is critical that access to fast, high-speed broadband remains a premium for many, depending on where you go in the country. We can’t let poor infrastructure from a lack of broadband or 5G to prevent small businesses from gaining a foothold on important programs like this one. “

further reading

Budget 2021 and what it means for small businesses

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