Intensive Business Support Programme

The Argyll and Bute Intensive Business Growth Programme is a 12 to 16 week focussed programme of support delivered online, designed specifically to help business owners deliver a step change in their approach.

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Argyll and Bute Intensive Business Growth programme

What is it?

The Argyll and Bute Intensive Business Growth Programme is a 12 to 16 week focussed programme of support delivered online, designed specifically to help small business owners take a fresh look at their business. Working with experienced business coaches, the focus is on the business and its goals, whether these are driving growth, adapting to a changing business environment, increasing profits, building resilience or identifying the right opportunities to develop. 
The programme combines a range of tools and expert support with individual and group activities tailored to participants, to create a practical and deliverable action plan for each business.  It is about applying real-world strategies to drive tangible results. By the end of the programme participants will have defined the capabilities, capacity and resources needed to deliver their business goals and be clear on their next steps.

The time commitment is approximately 30 hours across a 3 month period, split between one to one and group sessions. Places are fully funded meaning there is no direct cost to participants.

Feedback from previous participants is positive, with nearly 90% stating they had been encouraged to think objectively about their business and more than two-thirds confirming it had strengthened their business through building their confidence and skills.

“It was great to have the time and space to have fresh eyes and expertise on our business model.  I appreciated being challenged and coached through some of the decisions that were needed, and it gave me confidence in our ideas for the future”

This programme is funded by the UK Government under the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Who is it for?

The programme is suitable for ambitious small businesses seeking to scale up within the next 3 to 5 years, including:

  • increasing turnover significantly;
  • improving profitability; 
  • employing additional full-time staff within the next 18 months; and
  • extending beyond local markets. 

Places are strictly limited. To express your interest please complete the EOI form OR discuss taking part with your Business Gateway adviser.

To benefit from this programme you must have an open mind-set and a willingness to participate fully. 

Privacy policy UKSPF Business Support Privacy Notice.

Eligibility criteria

To be considered for this programme your business should be:

  • based in Argyll and Bute
  • micro- or small-sized (fewer than 50 employees and less than €10m turnover or balance sheet total of less than €10m)
  • actively trading for at least 6 months (ie buying and selling goods or services with the intention of making a profit)
  • providing the equivalent of full-time employment for you or a member of staff at the current real Living Wage or above (ie equivalent to a salary of nearly £22,000 at the current rate based on a 35 hour week The Calculation | Living Wage Foundation)

What’s included in the programme?

  • Effective online support – no need to travel and no complicated online platforms to use
  • Tailored support – through the programme you will identify the priorities most relevant for your business and access relevant expert help.  There is no ‘one size fits all’
  • Expert support – the programme draws on a wide range of subject experts who can share their knowledge and help you apply that to your business.  This could include • Leadership • Securing Funding • Branding • International development • Systems and Processes • Story Telling • Sales • Innovation management • Strategy coaching • or other topics identified by you to meet your business needs!
  • Practical approach - 20% of the time will focus on a Growth Toolkit and how you can use its tools and techniques to analyse your business.  80% of the programme will focus on practical work on your business using the tools and analysis to unblock barriers to growth
  • Mix of group sessions and one to one work – to help stimulate fresh thinking and learn from others 
  • Facilitation by an experienced growth coach – to both support you and challenge you to discover new ways of thinking
  • Produce a plan for growth – by the end of the programme you will have defined the capabilities, capacity and resources needed to deliver growth in your business and be clear on your next steps
  • Time limited – the programme is designed to create focus and drive change through a short, structured, intensive programme of support
  • Local knowledge – this is not a generic national programme. It has been designed with local knowledge to reflect the reality of doing business from Argyll and Bute
  • Create a sustainable growth community – you can become a founding member of a supportive community of business owners with growth ambitions, which can continue to offer support to each other well beyond the duration of the programme

Programme timetable

The spring 2024 programme is in progress. We expect there to be another group starting the programme in late 2024. Exact timings will be confirmed with successful applicants.

Who will you be working with?

This programme is delivered for Business Gateway Argyll and Bute by our partner Uxl. Uxl has been supporting individuals and businesses of all sizes grow, with practical innovative approaches since 2002. Led by founders, Michael Kearns and Jim Dearie, Uxl has built a strong network of associates and partners capable of designing practical products and services that support ambitious business owners and leaders.  More information about Uxl is included below. 

About Uxl

Uxl is delighted to be partnering with Argyll and Bute Council on this intensive growth programme specifically designed for ambitious business owners located in Argyll and Bute

Uxl has a track record of supporting businesses of all sizes with strategy development; innovation & change management; technology, product and process development; business growth and leadership development. “Over many years we have designed a range of proven, innovative products to help clients clarify business direction, develop competitive products & services and create winning strategies delivered through practical implementation plans focused on customers”. 

“In 2020 we moved our network of associates online to build our community of experts and improve accessibility to businesses. Uxl’s community of expert has decades of experience working in and with business across all sectors. We believe the technical, commercial, organisational and senior management coaching experience will create real value for participating businesses.”

Other recent growth programmes delivered by Uxl, combining group sessions with individual support, include the Argyll and Bute pilot Business Growth Programme, the Opportunity North East Business Growth Programme and the East Ayrshire Council Tool for Growth Programme. 

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