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Originally written by Anna Jordan on Small Business

The £520m Help to Grow scheme, set to be announced in tomorrow’s Budget, could help 130,000 small and medium-sized businesses.

According to the Times, the Government scheme will provide access management training, technology advice and discounted software to improve productivity.

This plan will enable access to some of the UK’s top business schools, while encouraging more companies to adopt technology, in the hope of opening up opportunities to small businesses that larger businesses can normally afford.

Business schools are due to offer 50 hours of tuition with one-to-one support from a mentor.

The scheme will have two streams:


Digital will be an online service offering free advice on how businesses can improve their digital capability as well as allowing them to get 50 per cent off approved software.


Management will provide subsidised management training to ‘enhance the skills of leaders’ in areas like financial management and marketing.

Andy Haldane, chief economist at the Bank of England, has said that poor management practices at companies may contribute to poor productivity.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) national chair Mike Cherry said:

“Projects like this really make a difference for small firms who are wanting to change the way they operate, expand their horizons as well as strengthen the economy for all.

“We have argued that the UK’s productivity challenge needed practical changes to help small businesses to improve their operations and drive efficiency and growth. This means more of a ‘new-to-firm’ approach for innovation, such as helping small businesses access things such as the cloud where currently less than half (40 per cent) use cloud services.

“Crucially with all digital schemes, it is a reminder that for many, access to fast high-speed broadband remains a premium depending where you go in the country. We cannot allow poor infrastructure through a lack of broadband or 5G to prevent small firms from getting a foothold onto important schemes like this.”

Further reading

Budget 2021 and what it means for small business

Government to launch £520m Help to Grow scheme for SMEs

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