woman next to a window with a view over Aberdeen

Help to Grow: Management

The 12-week UK Government-backed Help to Grow: Management course at RGU will help you boost the performance and resilience of your business.

At Aberdeen Business School, named the Business School of the Year 2020 (Times Higher Education Awards 2020) we have the knowledge and expertise to help your business recover and build resilience in the current climate, whilst also boosting performance and generating longer-term growth. 

Join other senior leaders from across Northern Scotland taking part in a practical management training course delivered by Aberdeen Business School at RGU, accredited by the Small Business Charter. 

The 12-week Help to Grow: Management course will support senior managers with a programme of expert led webinars, case studies, mentoring and peer-to-peer networking. 

The Help to Grow: Management course is suitable for businesses in Scotland operating across all sectors including food and drink, renewables, tourism, life sciences and oil and gas. 

The in-depth high quality curriculum will support you to build your capabilities in leadership, innovation, digital adoption, employee engagement, marketing, and financial management. By the end of the Help to Grow: Management course you will develop a business growth plan to help you lead your business to release its potential. With just one session per week, the Help to Grow: Management course has been designed to fit around the workload of senior managers.


The benefits

  • Develop your leadership skills across all areas of business including strategic planning, employee engagement, finance and marketing
  • Develop strategies for market segmentation, positioning and targeting to streamline your marketing approach
  • Gain exclusive access to a local, regional and national peer network to share practical challenges, ideas and experiences
  • Work with an experienced small business mentor to develop a Growth Action Plan tailored to your business and its unique journey
  • Learn how to engage employees on your business journey and plan the future structure of your organisation
  • Identify new technologies and digital approaches to enhance innovation and productivity in your business model
  • Improve operational efficiency to save time and money
  • A blended course that combines interactive, online sessions with face-to-face learning to suit you

The course

The 12-week Help to Grow: Management course is built around a practical curriculum and will be delivered by Aberdeen Business School in partnership with local industry leaders. It will be delivered through a variety of sessions online and face-to-face, supported by mentoring and peer networking.

The sixth Cohort of the Help to Grow: Management course at RGU will run from 31 March 2023.

The course will feature: 

  • Eight facilitated online 2-hour sessions
  • Four practical and interactive case study workshops
  • One-to-one support from a mentor, providing you with personalised support to develop your business growth plan
  • Peer networking, including peer group calls that give you the opportunity to share experiences with a small group of other small business leaders
  • Access to the Alumni Programme featuring events with inspirational speakers, business clinics and networking events

The course will cover key areas of leadership including:

  • Strategy and Innovation
  • Digital Adoption
  • Internationalisation and Winning New Markets
  • Vision, Mission and Values
  • Developing a Marketing Strategy
  • Building a Brand
  • Organisational Design
  • Employee Engagement and Leading Change
  • High Performance Workplaces
  • Efficient Operations
  • Finance and Financial Management
  • Implementing Growth Plans

I gained a lot of learning from the peer network. The in-class and peer group discussions were great and highlighted to me that some of the challenges being faced in my Company were also being faced in others. It was great to chat through these and hear how others have made it through.
Kerry Scott , HSEQ+ People Director, Motive Offshore Group

Funding and fees

This 12-week Help to Grow: Management course has been designed to fit around the workload of senior managers. The course is 90% funded by the Government - the fee payable by participants is £750. 


To join the Help to Grow: Management course, your business must: 

  • Be a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) based in the United Kingdom
  • From any business sector, employing between 5 and 249 people
  • Have been operational for at least one year
  • Not be a charity
  • If your business employs between 10 and 249 people, you can send up to two people on the course. If your business employs between 5 and 9 employees, you can send only one person.  For more information, please read the:

To join the Help to Grow: Management course, the applicant must:

  • Be a senior decision maker, such as Chief Executive, Finance Director, Operations Director, etc.
  • Have at least one direct report
  • Commit to completing all sessions

I decided to sign up for the help to grow programme to further enhance my management skills and to benefit from the mentoring opportunity. I also look forward to building a network of fellow professionals when the programme begins.
Chris Foy , CEO, VisitAberdeenshire

Apply now

Applications to join Cohort 5 are open until 31 January 2023, with the first session taking place on 1 February 2023.

Aberdeen Business School

Aberdeen Business School is justifiably proud of its enviable links to local and global business. Without doubt this has served the School well as we are now ranked as one of the top global business schools who have successfully achieved SBC, AMBA and AACSB accreditation. 

Aberdeen Business School delivers a wide portfolio of professionally accredited and industry-led business and finance related degrees, including its flexible MBA Programme

In the current climate where there are shifts in how we live, work and play, businesses need to ensure that they are equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge in order to survive and thrive. Aberdeen Business School is a key partner of the regional economy and delivers a world class business education to help enhance and upskill workforces, providing solutions to pertinent problems within the local business community and beyond.


Subject experts

RGU will work with local businesses and industry leaders across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and wider region to identify relevant strategic opportunities and help to drive business growth in our region. Our local subject experts bring experience and expertise from a range of industries including oil and gas, energy transition, tourism and food and drink.

Find out more in our series:

David Gibbons-Wood

David Gibbons-Wood (MA Hons) is Senior Lecturer, at the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. An economist by training, David's expertise focuses on labour market issues and workforce development, both in private and public sector and across numerous industry sectors. Having been involved in Energy research for over 15 years David is an expert in skills issues and the development of actions to mitigate skills challenges. He has managed numerous labour market intelligence projects on behalf of The Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, DTI, The European Social Fund and various skills agencies. David has published over 60 reports on regional, national and cross-national labour market analysis. In 2013 David chaired the European Oil and Gas Skill Conference. Recently, David has completed commercial research projects for the Offshore Contractor Association and EDF Energy.

David has extensive experience in supporting growing businesses, having led the development and delivery on two £400,000 European Social Fund (ESF) projects: Workforce Skills for Business Growth and Business Skills for Growth. In 2019 working with local partners he led the Fit4Energy programme, a growth programme for the energy sector.

Dawn Shand

Expert Speaker – Strategy and Innovation

For the past ten years I have worked as an Enterprise Educator and Business Coach within the University sector with a portfolio of start-ups and individuals with commercially valuable intellectual property. Prior to this I spent 20 years in the private sector working as an account director in an advertising agency; running my own PR and marketing business and working in house for a corporate law firm with direct report to the Managing Partner and Board. My work has bridged a number of sectors including oil and gas, food, law, tourism and emerging technologies.

As part of our ‘Meet the subject expert’ series, find out about Dawn's career, expertise and her involvement with Help To Grow:

Simone Barnett

Management Consultant / Part Time Lecturer

Simone Barnett is a B2B Growth Consultant working with stakeholders on the top-line aspects of their business including sales, marketing, strategy and leadership, to make a bottom line impact. Providing specialist management services to companies at key stages in their development – from supporting turnaround of a loss-making position, to managing growth acceleration, right through to preparing for exit.

Simone has over 25 years’ experience in commercial, sales and marketing roles, 10 years at executive director level and also experienced working with a number of private equity and investor boards. MBA and MSc qualified, Simone has the ability and experience to apply strategy and methodologies in a practical way, sensitive to the realities of the market and the unique nature of your business and culture.

Simone has worked in house and on a consultancy basis across a breadth of sectors, including Oil and Gas, Subsea, Engineering and Construction, Facilities Management, Manufacturing, Learning & Development, Software, Media, Recruitment and Training, Not for Profit and Public Sector; she has specific expertise working with SME’s, either pre or post investment.

Working with Simone provides a dynamic strategic partnership that brings third-party expertise to the table, particularly focused on the challenges/objectives of SME’s, providing an additional leader and mentor to the management team in an efficient manner.

Moira Bailey

Dr Moira Bailey was Academic Strategic Lead for the People, Organisations and Practice department within Aberdeen Business School, and  is currently focussing on consultancy work, research as well as part time lecturing within ABS. Her lecturing focus is HRM, Organisational Behaviour and Research Methods. 

Previously, she worked as a Personnel and Training Manager with a Diving Company and Holiday Inns, a Further Education lecturer and a freelance trainer and HR consultant.  

Moira has qualifications in Coaching and Mentoring and Interpersonal Mediation.  She is a WRAP facilitator and has been involved in the development and delivery of PROTECT AND PREPARE: Securing Your Business, a CPD course developed in conjunction with Police Scotland. For her work on this course Moira has been commended by the Counter Terrorism Policing Unit at New Scotland Yard. She is a licensed user of Thinking Styles, a metacognitive psychometric instrument which can be used as a management, team building or developmental tool.  She is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Member of the British Academy of Management and Chartered Fellow of CIPD and ITOL.  Moira’s  particular research interests are Professional Competency and Development, Non-formal Learning and Reflection.   The title of her doctoral thesis is Developmentalism - from here to there - is heutagogy the way there for HR?

As part of our ‘Meet the subject expert’ series, find out about Moira's career, expertise and her involvement with Help To Grow:

Suzan Pecyna

Suzan Pecyna is a senior change management consultant, thinking partner, coach and communicator who has independently designed and delivered leadership coaching programmes, engagement strategies and strategic stakeholder analyses for clients for 20 years.   

Themes in her work include Change Management, Employee Engagement, Bright Spot Collation, Lessons Learned, Knowledge Management, Operating Cost Reduction programmes, Project Management, Leadership Development, Presentation Training and Negotiation/Conflict Management.   

Suzan has delivered most of her work in the UK, Netherlands, France, Switzerland and the Middle East, predominantly to Publicly Listed Companies in the Energy, Finance and Fast Moving Consumer Goods sectors. View companies, projects and clients on LinkedIn:

She was educated to Honours Master Degree Level (MA Honours Eng. Lit.) at Aberdeen University, followed by a series of post graduate studies (CAM Diploma, LCC diploma and Prince2 to Practitioner level).   

Her core skills are consulting, listening, networking, interviewing, researching, project management and writing.   

Suzan is a part time lecturer at the Aberdeen Business School, Robert Gordon University, where she lectures in Information Management, Professional Skills and Digital Business.   

She is also a Visiting Lecturer on the Masters and Professional Courses team of The Hague University, lecturing in Change Management, Internal Communications, Negotiation (MBA level), Crisis Communications and Business Writing.   

She is 54 years old, married with one son and lives in Aberdeen in Scotland.  

As part of our ‘Meet the subject expert’ series, find out about Suzan's career, expertise and his involvement with Help To Grow:

Bill Johnston

Fixed-term, Part Time Lecture

Bill is a tutor in the Department of Accounting and Finance of Aberdeen Business School at RGU. He graduated from the University of Stirling with a BA Honours degree in Economics. He then went on to qualify as a Chartered Management Accountant with the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and spent a career in senior Finance and Commercial roles in a FTSE 100 Company.

As part of our ‘Meet the subject expert’ series, find out about Bill's career, expertise and his involvement with Help To Grow:

RGU Talk - Leading your way to Business Growth Series

Further information 

If you require any further information about Help to Grow: Management, your eligibility and applying, please contact d.gibbons-wood@rgu.ac.uk.

Cookie Consent