We are pleased to announce that applications are now open for the 2018 intake for the prestigious Growth Advantage Programme, run at FBU Scotland partners Strathclyde Business School, a 10 month business acceleration programme that enables entrepreneurs and growth-focused business owners to gain the business insights, management skills and know-how necessary to achieve their organisation’s full growth potential.
Designed to deliver relevant, accessible and practical learning for the leaders of ambitious businesses in Scotland looking to grow substantially, the Growth Advantage Programme at Strathclyde Business School combines world class executive education with the power of peer learning. Launched in 2015, it is unique in Scotland and offers a fresh alternative to more established growth programmes only available in England and overseas and has a proven track record of impact on growth businesses and their leaders. Over 50 ambitious entrepreneurs and have already seen the impact and are on track to realise their full potential. Are you ready to join them?
The 10-month programme is structured around 6 intensive sessions comprising a one-day Orientation session followed by 4 two-day workshops - Market Advantage; Operations Advantage; Leadership Advantage and Resource Advantage and a final day of Reflection and Celebration.
A key feature of the programme is providing participants with access to further practical support to help them to scale-up. The resources available include practical support from the University of Strathclyde, including Knowledge Transfer Partnerships and other forms of innovation services.
Accessing talent to support growth is another key element of the programme with opportunities to secure project support from the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship undergraduates and MBA students; product design resource from the Engineering Faculty; the use of the University Careers Service, and sourcing interns via the Santander Universities Internship Scheme.
Is this for you?
The Growth Advantage Programme is aimed at existing businesses with real growth ambitions. To get the most from the programme we recommend that participants should be the founding managing director, chief executive or principal of the business with a significant ownership interest.
Nearly two thirds of participants to date have been founders of their own businesses with the remainder split between the leaders of multi-generation family businesses and entrepreneurs who had purchased their businesses. With an average turnover of around £2 million and 20 employees, participants have come from all over Scotland and have represented a wide range of sectors - service, manufacturing and product development - and around half already operating internationally.
Does it work?
David Frame, Managing Director of specialist manufacturer B&D Group explains what the Growth Advantage Programme meant to him.
The substantial impact of the programme on each cohort - average annualised growth in employment and sales across the cohort exceeding the OECD high growth threshold of 20% - was credited by participants to various factors. These included having greater clarity of the business, sharpening their value proposition, extracting more value from current operations, creating synergy from their portfolio of products and services, focusing on core values, measuring activities, having a greater focus on more valuable customers and changes in structures and people.
The benefits of the programme were not simply realised in terms of business performance but also by the impact on the individuals who cited having greater confidence, more energy, more growth orientation and growing networks as a result of taking part.
“The course was life-changing. The quality of the lecturers and the cohort was excellent. I also really valued the opportunity to speak to other women in business”.
“This was the best learning experience I’ve had. Highly recommended.”
“Discovering new, creative and challenging techniques, tools, inspiring case studies and best practice through the programme is one thing, but discovering yourself has taken the gift of this programme to a whole new level.”
“Whilst there are other forms of executive education available out there, no other option I have experienced so far has delivered the same impact to my business as GAP. A key differentiator is sustainability. By delivering the inputs over a nine month period, the Hunter Centre has facilitated 'bite sized' learning and an element of peer support/pressure that ensures that the cohort are able to apply the learning in their businesses immediately and feedback on progress to the group at the next session. Where problems are encountered, they are shared and worked through as a group.”