University of Leicester School of Business celebrates two years of helping business innovation across region

Hundreds of businesses across the region have benefitted from a government-backed programme from University of Leicester School of Business (ULSB).

Since September 2021, over 240 small and medium-sized businesses across the East Midlands and the East of England have successfully completed the Help to Grow: Management programme through the University of Leicester.

The government-funded scheme aims to tackle the enduring nationwide challenges of low productivity, lack of innovation and slow growth.

It has supported businesses in navigating current economic challenges including high energy and fuel costs, rising interest rates, skills shortages and increasing wage demands.

The fully-funded 12-week course is predominantly delivered online and is developed with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in mind. The course also includes ten hours of one-to-one mentoring leading the creation of a growth action plan for the business.

Andy Bristow founder of IT recruitment firm, Bristow Holland, outlines the impact on his Ipswich-based business: “It gave me the structure I needed to see clearly how I could grow our business by expanding into new territories and focusing on our core offering.

“This has led to the hiring of a new team and investing in a new website for which the marketing modules of the course were particularly useful and our goal is to double our turnover in the next 3 years which will create roles for up to 10 new consultants and help grow the tech sector in the East of England.”

Dr Ash Sadeghi, Help to Grow programme leader, explains: “The Help to Grow course is a fantastic opportunity to access academic expertise, gain practical real-life experience, and learn how to boost business performance and productivity. The programme also connects you with other SME leaders and helps you further develop your business network.”

The Help to Grow: Management programme has been delivered by Small Business Charter-accredited business schools across the UK and is due to run until March 2025. Participating SMEs must have 5-249 employees and have been trading for at least 1 year. For further information on the course and future start dates visit