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Why choose HGH?

Help to grow scheme: how to apply

Posted: 9th Apr 2021 by Hunter Gee Holroyd Business Advice General

As part of the 2021 Budget, the Government announced a £520m “Help to Grow” scheme, to help small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) across the UK. The scheme will provide eligible companies with digital and management support and training to help them innovate and grow.

There are two components to the scheme:

  • Help to Grow: Management: This is an executive development programme to help improve business performance and potential for growth. Up to 90% of these training costs will be met by the government. 
  • Help to Grow: Digital: This is free online advice. There will potentially be a contribution of 50% towards software costs of up to £5,000. The intention is that these software costs will help reduce time and costs for businesses.

Eligible businesses can now register their interest for either or both schemes here.  Please see further information and eligibility requirements below.

Help to Grow: Management

From June, SMEs will be able to access a 12 week-programme delivered by leading business schools across the UK. The programme for senior management participants (e.g. CEO, Finance Director etc.) will combine a practical curriculum, with 1:1 support from a business mentor, peer-learning sessions and an alumni network. Modules will include financial management, innovation and digital adoption. Importantly, the programme has been designed to be manageable alongside full-time work.

The Government hope that by the end of the programme, participants will have developed their business skills, as well as creating a tailored business growth plan, which will lead their business to its full potential. 

Key facts:

  • 30,000 places will be available over 3 years.
  • The programme will be 90% subsidised by the Government.  Those owners intending to participate can enrol here though there is a charge of £750 to join the course.

Which companies qualify?

Any company from any sector (except Charities) potentially qualifies. However they must have been operating for at least a year and have between 5 and 249 employees.

The participant in the scheme needs to be a decision maker, or belong to the senior management team within the business. For example a Finance Director, Chief Technical Officer.

Help to Grow: Digital

This autumn, all businesses will be able to get free impartial advice on how technology can boost their performance through a new online platform. Eligible SMEs will also be able to get a discount of up to 50% on the costs of approved software, worth up to £5,000.

Specific details on the software available have not been outlined, but it is believed that vouchers will be available for software that helps businesses build customer relationships and increase sales; make the most of selling online; and manage accounts and finances digitally.

Who qualifies?

All businesses should be able to benefit from free online advice via the platform. However the voucher is expected to be available to a UK business that employs between 5 and 249 employees and is registered at Companies House. Additionally the company must have been trading for more than 12 months and be purchasing the discounted software for the first time.

Full details on the businesses and software eligible for the voucher will be published this summer. However in the meantime you can register your interest here.

Need help? Get in touch

If you would like advice with the Help to Grow Scheme, or any other business matter, get in touch with our team on 01904 655202 or email