Huddersfield Business School has launched the latest round of its successful Help to Grow management programme, with more than 20 local firms signed up to benefit from interactive sessions and business mentoring.


A total of 24 senior managers from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have joined the sixth cohort, all looking to enhance their leadership skills and boost business performance and long-term growth.


The practical course takes place over 12 weeks and includes 12 interactive sessions alongside 10 hours of business mentoring, delivered by subject experts and industry leaders, all facilitated by Katey Curtis, Senior Practitioner at the University of Huddersfield.


With a combination of online and face-to-face workshops, participants dedicate between three and five hours a week to take part, all focused on helping them develop and grow their businesses.

Huddersfield Business School delivered its first Help to Grow programme in April 2022, and such is its success, that funding for a further three new cohorts has recently been received from the Chartered Association of Business Schools (CABS).


This means the University and its Business School can offer this support to 90 more Kirklees businesses between now and March 2025, on top of the 126 that have already been involved in the scheme.


The companies taking part this time are: Beyond the Physical Ltd, Caffe Shop Ltd, Dustolex Limited, Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice Retail, Greengauge Building Energy Consultants Ltd, Greys Oak Ltd, GWL UNITED CIC, Huddersfield Giants Rugby League team, Institute for Educational & Social Equity, Jade 2003 Ltd (Emerald), Katchr, KTH Holts Ltd, Olympus Technologies Ltd, Pymroyd Services, Victoria Grant Limited, Vizulate Digital, With Support Ltd, Mel Green Construction Ltd, Shining Stars Day Nursery, JRS Commercial Solutions Ltd and The Unica Group Ltd.


The Business School also hosts regular Help to Grow alumni networking events at small businesses across Kirklees, allowing the firms to exchange valuable insights and keep up-to-date with the latest trends.


December 2023 saw the launch of the Huddersfield Help to Grow Awards with more than 80 businesses nominated, and the awards for 2024 will launch this July.


Stella Bowdell, Help to Grow Programme Director at Huddersfield Business School is delighted with the success of the programme to date, saying: “Help to Grow Huddersfield is an incredible opportunity for businesses in Kirklees and beyond to benefit from £7,500 worth of high-quality, practical learning and mentoring for only £750. We have such a vibrant, diverse range of businesses taking part, and the strength of the Help to Grow network being built on with every cohort is another example of why providing high-quality, accessible programmes like this is so vital. The potential and talent of our region’s business leaders is outstanding, and we are proud to be providing the support that they deserve.”


Peter Beaumont, Associate Director of Monty Miracle, took part in the programme in December 2022 and has since seen a massive surge in growth.


Talking about the marketing module, which inspired the firm to develop and use social media to showcase its patio cleaner, he said: “People need to see our product in action to see how good it is – the reaction we’ve had to our video content has been dramatic – we’ve seen a 362% increase in growth internally already this year which definitely has something to do with the digital marketing piece we’ve been working on off the back of the Help to Grow programme.”


Shellie O’Connor, Business Development Manager at Actiform, who took part in the second cohort, praised the programme when it came to learning about different leadership styles.


She said: “One thing in particular that was highlighted in the Help to Grow Management programme was how to adopt different leadership styles to get the best out of your team. The programme taught me that depending on which colleague you are leading in your team will depend on what leadership style is needed to get the best outcome.”


The extended funding for Help to Grow follows a particularly successful 12 months for Huddersfield Business School, which was named the Business School of the Year at the prestigious Times Higher Education Awards 2023 in December.  Judges highlighted the Help to Grow programme as one of the School’s standout achievements.


The School has also recently been shortlisted in the Educate North Awards 2024 in the Business School of the Year category.