How the Help to Grow schemes could boost your business growth

The government's Help to Grow scheme is designed to help businesses develop new skills, reach more customers, and ultimately increase profits.

The scheme's two programmes – Help to Grow: Management and Help to Grow: Digital – offer management training and digital technology support to smaller businesses.

Help to Grow: Management launched in August 2021, with Help to Grow: Digital following in January 2022.

The Help to Grow: Digital criteria was amended in July 2022 to allow more businesses to benefit, with a minimum of one employee now needed for a company to be eligible instead of the previous criteria requiring a minimum of five employees though its worth noting that the scheme closes to new applicants in February 2023.

The change in criteria means up to 1.2 million UK businesses can benefit from the scheme.

What is the Help to Grow: Management scheme?

The Help to Grow: Management scheme offers management and leadership training for businesses that wish to accelerate their growth.

The 12-week course consists of 50 hours of learning, including ten hours of one-to-one mentoring, and is aimed at those wanting to improve their management and strategic skills to take their business to the next level.

With business-focused learning at its centre, the course is split into four parts:

  • part 1 – strategies for growth and innovation
  • part 2 – engaging with customers
  • part 3 – building a sustainable and agile business
  • part 4 – operations and financial strategies.

The benefits of the scheme for smaller businesses include:

Flexible learning

Taught in over 50 locations across the UK by leading business schools, you can choose a location that works for you. Designed to fit in alongside existing work commitments, the course is a mix of face-to-face and online learning.

Expert knowledge

The course is designed and overseen by industry experts and entrepreneurs to offer business help from those who are experts in their field. Course leaders are selected based on their real-world experience and knowledge of small businesses.


The course costs £750 per participant, with the remaining 90 per cent funded by the government.

Tailored guidance

Joining the course comes with one-to-one mentoring from a specialist experienced in small businesses. Your mentor will work with you to overcome your business's challenges and to help develop a tailored growth plan.

How to apply for the Help to Grow: Management scheme

To be eligible for the scheme, individuals must be senior decision-makers within the business, such as managing directors or business owners.

Applicants must commit to completing all sessions.

To qualify, your business needs to meet these criteria:

  • has been operating for over a year
  • be based in the UK
  • not be a charity
  • employ between 5 and 249 staff members.

Businesses can send one attendee on the course unless your company has between 10 and 249 employees, then you can send two.

To discover more about the Help to Grow: Management course and how to apply, visit the government website.

What is the Help to Grow: Digital scheme?

The Help to Grow: Digital scheme offers support and discounts to smaller businesses looking to buy and implement digital technology to help grow their business.

Joining the scheme provides your business with access to:

  • up to a 50% discount towards approved software, saving up to £5,000 on software costs
  • free advice and guidance, including help to find your software solution and eLearning modules
  • one-on-one advice for your business.

The Help to Grow discount applies to three digital software types:

The discount applies to software from approved suppliers found on the government website.

Making use of digital software could benefit your business in several ways, including:

Informed decision-making

Digital accounting software typically updates your finances in real-time, allowing you to make informed decisions. CRM software can identify new sales opportunities, helping businesses prioritise new leads.

Improve efficiency

Managing finances with digital accounting software can be quicker than manually updating finances, speeding up processes and saving time. Contacting potential customers via a CRM can save time and resources in tracking down new business prospects.

Improved customer experience

CRM software can provide excellent insights into your customer's behaviours, so you can cater to and improve your customers' experience. E-commerce software can provide customers with better online shopping experiences through convenient payment, shipping, and delivery services.

How to apply for the Help to Grow: Digital scheme

To qualify for the scheme, your business must be registered in the UK and meet the following criteria:

  • registered with either Companies House or a society listed on the Financial Conduct Authorities Mutuals Register
  • have between 1 and 249 employees
  • have been actively trading for over a year
  • be purchasing the software for the first time.

To apply for the Help to Grow discount, you will need to check your eligibility and follow the five steps on the government website.

Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.

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