11 August 2020
The government is investing £20m to improve small businesses’ management, productivity and problem-solving skills in the wake of coronavirus through two free online training programmes.
Courses will begin on dates between September and next January. The 10-week Small Business Leadership Programme will focus on issues such as identifying key markets, strengthening customer relationships, employee engagement, branding, financial management and planning for resilience.
The initiative is open to chief executives and senior management from companies with between 5-249 employees, working alongside other participants in their local area.
Sessions will comprise 90-minute webinars delivered by experts from university business schools, plus up to two hours of independent study and peer supported learning per week. Participants will be expected to complete all elements.
Additionally, the Peer Networks Programme aims to help business owners improve their problem-solving skills, through a series of guided exercises. Topics will include finding new customers and using website technology to adapt a business model.
There are 2,000 places available on the Small Business Leadership Programme and 6,000 on the Peer Networks Programme. If social distancing measures allow, some elements may be delivered face-to-face.
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