Brunel Hive-SBLP: Supporting the survival and growth of UK’s SMEs
Mar 8 | 6 minutes read
SMEs in the UK can finally breathe a sigh of relief and make their way to post-pandemic recovery with the help of a 10-week training programme.
The new Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP) is a fully-funded programme designed by business schools to provide timely and relevant support for senior SME leaders in the region.
Driven by a conviction to help UK SMEs grow, Brunel Business School is working with Small Business Charter to deliver the SBLP programme to leaders of small businesses in the region.
Small Business Leadership Programme (SBLP) improves strategic leadership capabilities for SME leaders
Brunel Business School is driven by its growing reputation as a university for a changing world and draws its ideas for innovation by working collaboratively with the UK government and businesses.
Brunel Business School focuses on employability to drive social value. The school nurtures employable and entrepreneurial global citizens with the right skills to become successful business leaders.
Brunel Business School is part of Brunel University London, accredited by the Small Business Charter (SBC) — a national accreditation awarded by small businesses to business schools that excel in supporting SMEs and the economy.
SBLP is co-designed by Brunel Business School and specifically targets senior SME leaders. SBLP helps business leaders build resilience to tackle the challenges presented by the pandemic.
The programme will equip business leaders with in-depth know-how through coaching and peer-to-peer learning.
Dean of Brunel Business School and Professor and Chair in Organisation Studies, Professor Jane Hendy said that Brunel Business School is excited to be part of a national programme that supports local small businesses.
“Brunel Business School believes the first step for small businesses to bounce back from the impact of the pandemic is to better understand the process of business survival, resilience, and growth.”
The SBLP is supported by the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy in the UK and features practical topics such as leadership, innovation, employee engagement, operational efficiency, marketing, sustainable practices, and finance.
Brunel Hive – SBLP: Supporting UK SME’s survival and growth
Brunel Hive is Brunel University London’s business growth and engagement platform.
Part of the Brunel Business School and driven by the institution’s growing reputation as a ‘university for a changing world’, Brunel Hive Executive Learning was created to “engineer the growth of businesses” across London and to facilitate their internationalisation in economies across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Brunel Hive – SBLP supports senior leaders to enhance their business’s resilience and recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
The key topics covered in this programme to help SMEs are:
- Make your business more resilient
- Boost business performance and growth
- Create an innovative and agile organisation
- Recover from the impact of COVID-19
- Plan for the future of your business
- Build leadership confidence and effectiveness
- Build lasting relationships with small business leaders
- Improve risk management and efficiency
The SBLP features a series of 90-minute webinars and peer-to-peer learning to fit in with day-to-day business delivery. SBLP also helps business leaders to understand and apply innovation to their businesses.
The training programme has taken off to rave reviews from its participants from various industries
SBLP participants all agree that the programme enhances leadership skills and positively impacts business performance.
Milya Timergaleyeva, a business leader at Oregan Networks commented that the learning tools and materials taught her how to implement new improvement processes.
SBLP participants also learned to identify key markets for their business and evaluate their approach to creating customer demand and building relationships with prospective customers.
David Woods is a leader for a local management company. Woods says that SBLP was an eye-opening experience, enhancing his knowledge in demand creation and innovation.
Woods graduated from the SBLP with a better understanding of customer demand, enabling him to zero-in on the aspects that his clients would invest more money.
“The one thing that COVID-19 has shown me is that the people I have employed and the people I am empowered can do the job,” Woods added, confidently.
Through SBLP, small business leaders develop the skills to outline strategic approaches to operations management to support business growth and resilience.
SBLP participants gain skills that help them articulate their vision and values. They also learn how to assess the long-term impact and sustainability of their businesses.
Zeineth Ali is a business leader at Altair Systems and recently completed the programme. He says that he now has the skills and know-how to streamline processes and improve organisational structure.
This knowledge, Ali says, has been very informative and is equivalent to the MBA.
Farid Gasanov from Accountants Ltd also likened the SBLP to a mini-MBA. Gasanov said that as a business leader, it was helpful to go through the theoretical aspects again, after experiencing the practical aspects of running a business.
SBLP participants also develop action plans for resilience and productivity by incorporating tools and metrics amassed throughout the 10-week programme.
Matthew Davies from Wilson Solicitors found the programme materials to be highly beneficial. “You gain a different overview of all different aspects of running a small business.”
SBLP has prompted Davies to identify new roles that can support his organisation’s post-pandemic recovery.
George Saladze, a leader at Alpha Crew, said that the programme taught him to push himself and his colleagues to take the business to greater heights.
“As a business leader and business owner, you should always think of the next step and devise concrete plans to achieve these goals,” Saladze said.
For another participant, John Creevy from Windmill Taverns, the main takeaway from his time spent on the programme is for business leaders to open their minds to ideas that do not solely revolve around the present situation.
“Businesses need to adapt and pivot quickly, and this is important to help businesses thrive,” Creevy said.
Amar Patel from Lotus Care Finch Manor found SBLP’s module on branding to be particularly helpful. Patel is already setting up rebranding initiatives and will begin by making changes to his company’s website.
“Individuals managing small businesses will benefit from the opportunity to strengthen their strategic leadership skills, as well as grow their business networks,” Patel said.
Business leaders who have completed the SBLP programme have not only grown in confidence but have come out with strong business skills and know-how.
Sonja Bentley is a leader for a coffee manufacturing business and is now developing a new commercial strategy upon graduating from the programme.
Richard Garland, the co-founder of a construction management company has devised an action plan for his business upon completing the programme.
“Looking back to all these modules and putting this action plan together has helped me come out of my business a little bit and look at it from a higher level and understand what it is,” Garland said.
Similarly, Brendon O’Conner, the marketing and communicator director of a fashion company, said that upon completing the programme, his business has started collecting the resources needed to sustain their business – which is part of a long-term business plan.
SBLP participant Howard Wong, co-owner of an ice-cream company, will also be leading his company with a stronger focus on sustainability.
Norbert Adam, the owner of a personalised gifts company, said, “I think the whole course provided a great framework of what a proper business is and the key elements to it as well,”
Adam found the peer sessions and group discussions to be the most useful feature of the programme.
“We had real-life scenarios and examples, especially from Brendon, Sonja, and Howard in those sessions,” Adam added, “I think those were the most useful for me.”
The Small Business Leadership Programme is open to SME leaders in senior management roles, with at least one direct report, in businesses that have been operating for at least one year and with five to 249 employees in England.
Eligible participants can join the Small Business Leadership programme by signing up here.