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Monday, June 24, 2024

Lancaster’s ‘Help to Grow’ Management Programme was ‘no brainer’ for Marketing Director and helped put firm back on its feet

For Nahim Choudhury, the turbulence of the last few years had been tough, and his marketing firm was running in ‘survival mode’ – focusing on the day-to-day grind and getting through each week.

So, when he saw the Government’s funded Help to Grow: Management programme advertised, the 42-year-old Founder and Director of Liverpool-based Bright Marketing Ideas Group (BMIG) thought of the opportunity as a ‘mini MBA’ – and jumped at it.

Launched back in 2021 by Government as part of its ‘Plan for Jobs’ to help businesses to drive growth and protect jobs post Covid-19, Help to Grow is designed to fit in alongside full-time work and provides the management tools needed to help leaders innovate and grow their firms, and help drive the UK’s economic recovery.

The 12-week blended programme is aimed at senior leaders of small and medium businesses from all sectors and is 90% subsidised by the government.

“Choosing Lancaster for the programme was a no-brainer,” Nahim explains. “As most of the fees are funded, I thought I may as well choose the best business school in the North West. Lancaster has a great reputation of working with businesses and is easy to get to by train or car.

“I felt Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) could provide me with the support I needed and give me the opportunity to learn the many business and management topics and theories to help me make my business more successful.”

Nahim is one of almost fifty business leaders to have benefitted from the Help to Grow programme in LUMS so far, with participants travelling from as far as London and Kent to attend workshops on its campus. Delegates have come from a vast range of backgrounds and sectors – with senior leaders from booksellers and milk suppliers, inflatable theme park owners and saddle retailers – all leaving the programme with a tailored business growth plan to help them on a pathway to growth.

“For me, Help to Grow has been hugely beneficial,” Nahim said. “The best thing about this short intensive course is you are with other like-minded people who are in a similar situation- so you are surrounded by professionals and can work on real-life business problems during your classroom scenarios. The management workbooks and the access to specific mentors who push you and make you think about your business are also fantastic – it really helps to focus you on your growth plan for the next six months.

“Sometimes it is good to step back from the business and have outside help to evaluate your current business practice,” he continues. “Often you become so busy managing the ‘day to day’ you forget to take time to reflect and restart your business growth.”

Lancaster University Management School modules cover financial management, strategies for growth and innovation, leading a high-performance workplace and digital adoption.

Dr Sharon Lemac-Vincere is Lancaster University Management School’s Help to Grow Programme Director. She said: “Help to Grow is a very practical programme, focused on strategic leadership skills and helping business leaders pause, reflect, and build meaningful and effective tailored growth plans.

“We have had fantastic feedback from participants to date who have all gone away equipped with a firm focus on the steps they will take over the coming months to take their business to the next level.

“Mentoring is a key element of our Lancaster programme and access to our academics and alumni network are hugely beneficial for business leaders who are looking to strengthen their connections and learn from each other. Participants are encouraged to place employee wellbeing at the heart of every decision and plan they make, and we cover themes such as diversity and inclusion, productivity, resilience and responsibility.”

Applications for Lancaster University’s next Help to Grow cohort are open which will begin at the end of January 2023. Any businesses interested in applying for future cohorts can visit gov.uk/helptogrow for more information and to register.



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