Henley provides effective engagement with SMEs

SME community to have access to training, development and grants to support high-growth business strategies

The great thing about SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) is that they are flexible and agile, offer rapid decision-making, have visible management who usually lead by example, are quicker at responding to customer needs and are likely to deploy improvements rapidly. The weaknesses that are common to SMEs are often focussed around the lack of planning, the limitation of resources and the pressures of time. Henley’s aim is to address these issues and develop a suite of programmes with approved grant funding for all existing SMEs who are, or wish to become, members of GrowthAccelerator , the government-backed service targeted at high-growth UK businesses. For a small fee charged by GrowthAccelerator, companies get access to grants for training and development, and their fee is offset with advice that they can draw on across many different areas of the business. In this case, a £2,000 grant is available for each person towards each of these programmes.

We believe an inspirational and strategic intervention can provide some of the missing ingredients for healthy and consistent growth strategies; therefore Henley Business School is supporting SMEs with the following programmes (each lasting four days, delivered as two blocks of two days).


Successful Funding Strategies for Growth

A Henley high-performance SME programme.

Small and medium-sized businesses are the powerhouse of the UK and yet the Bank of England’s Credit Conditions Survey 2014 Q3 reflects the difficulties still being faced. Small companies are seeing a drop in available funding and, at the same time, increasing bank fees. For medium-sized companies, lending remains difficult and unchanged, and the demand for funding is not being met.

In this climate it has to be considered whether the giving of personal guarantees, asset debentures and paying high interest rates is the best way forward. The equity route, which has often been overlooked, can be very rewarding, allowing owners to attract investment and even additional skills through private equity. The key issue for SMEs is that in the past they have not been very successful in raising equity. This programme takes the SME on a clear route map of detailed work to make it investment ready, and takes management and executives on a journey through the process, including operational work, contract and due diligence, valuation, communications and presentation. The programme features feedback and input from hands-on faculty and an SME that has been successful in recent months, plus the views of a guest investor.


Strategies for Leadership in Digital and IT

A Henley high-performance SME programme.

This programme focuses on accelerating your company’s growth and innovation through the development of effective e-leadership skills. The programme:

  • takes executives through the issues that may be a challenge to growth
  • explains how to gain a competitive advantage through effective ICT management
  • identifies the role of digital and IT strategies in the organisation
  • compares the use of IT and digital strategies as either strategic or survival tools
  • studies and analyses practical applications within the business around people, marketing, strategy, finance and ICT

It draws on recent academic research to highlight this issue and then provides practical and applied solutions.