This message is in addition to my usual monthly rant about something, and is specifically for those of you on the newsletter list who have businesses with employees and would like to benefit (or maybe have clients who could benefit) from coaching or training, paid for largely by the government.
Maybe you’ve thought about it in the past, but didn’t want or couldn’t afford to commit to an expense that, in these straitened times, is very much an optional extra.
Growth Accelerator is the latest government initiative to try to stimulate growth in the SME sector, and has been born out of previous iterations, including Business Link and Train2Gain. This time around, though, there is a more practical and hopefully more effective approach to the issue, based on the identification at an initial stage of a participating business’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, with a view to putting in place initiatives that have as a core objective the doubling in size of the business in three years.
And while Growth Accelerator staff are doing most of the initial assessments, they have recruited a small army of private sector businesses coaches and trainers (like me) to deliver the initiatives recommended as a result of those assessments.
I have been recruited into the ranks – it fits perfectly with the rest of the work I do (part coach, part mentor, part advisor, part consultant) – and I wanted to make sure that at least all my own contacts know what is on offer.
GOVERNMENT-FUNDED COACHING AND TRAINING
This is in fact a tiered approach, based on size of company and on specific need. There are three basic divisions: Coaching for Growth (which is where I sit), Innovation and Access to Finance. The cost to you is dependent upon the number of employees you have:
Micro businesses and start-ups (up to 4 employees) pay £600
Small businesses with 5 – 49 employees pay £1,500
Medium-sized businesses with 50 – 250 employees pay £3,000
For that you get a course of business coaching over a period of time that suits you, paid for largely by government funding.
There is also an additional sum of money for leadership and management training, available to all directors. Up to £2,000 per Director is available, on a match-funding basis – so you will only have to pay half of any training package per person up to a total cost of £4,000.
All this is delivered by a nationwide team of experienced business coaches and trainers, who have been helping business owners with growth plans (and/or, as I did, actually growing a business of their own) for many years.
The initial consultation is free, naturally, and without any obligation to proceed. If you do decide to sign up, you can work with whomever you like, provided they are an accredited Growth Accelerator practitioner. So if you don’t want to work with me (or anyone else), it’s your call: there are hundreds to choose from. And it is important that you get on with whomever you choose.
If you’re interested and want to know more, I’ll happily send you a summary of the scheme and the various options, and a contact at Growth Accelerator to get in touch with.
Different organisations are managing different areas of the country on behalf of the government, so who I refer you to will depend on where your business is. In the Thames Valley, Oxford Innovation are running the scheme, whereas in London it’s Grant Thornton.
There’s also a Growth Accelerator website, where you can go and check things out for yourselves – and cut me out of the loop entirely, if you so choose. I’d love to know how much interest there is in this, though. The Growth Accelerator people are counting on people like me, I suspect, to put the word out and deliver to them a steady stream of interested parties. So feel free to forward this to as many others as you see fit, too.