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Grant support is available to businesses seeking leadership coaching and mentoring - encouraging more businesses in Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership area to apply for innovative business support scheme.

The Business Development Programme (BDP) runs the coaching and mentoring scheme, great200leaders, which is available to 200 qualifying existing small and medium-sized businesses that can demonstrate growth ability.

For a limited period only companies eligible for the grant can access the great200leaders programme throughout May, for £1,000 rather than the regular cost of £2,000 (plus VAT). Some eligible businesses can even access the scheme for free (subject to qualifying criteria).

The great200leaders scheme offers a plan of leadership development. It is delivered over a 12-month period in ten peer group workshops, with each workshop headed by an inspirational expert speaker.

Adrian Davies (pictured) chief executive of Winning Moves, the company delivering great200leaders, said: "I often hear company leaders on the programme tell me that great200leaders offers them such a benefit, in terms of their personal and business development. We want as many businesses as possible to be able to join, so we've taken measures to guarantee an additional contribution – bringing the cost down to £1,000 for any eligible business - but for a limited time only!

“The scheme will run until June 2015, but we urge businesses to sign up during May to make the most of the grant support available. Businesses across the whole of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP can still apply.”

Poor leadership and access to funding have been identified as two key barriers to business growth. Some of the reasons businesses look for leadership coaching and mentoring could be due to succession planning. It could be that a business is looking to develop key directors, to get more out of underperforming teams or to develop new strategies for reaching and attracting customers, or even for external help to solve business critical issues e.g. recruitment, finance, HR.

Simon Cox, Director of Unity Wedding Bands, which has benefited from the BDP, said:

"The great200leaders scheme means we’ve been able to implement an action plan that has directly helped us grow our business and our ambitions. I would highly recommend it.

“It is easy to apply for – and the benefit of having someone outside your sector look at your management structure has enabled us to streamline operations. This had a direct impact on the business, allowing us to accelerate our business performance.”

The Business Development Programme, administered by Birmingham City Council on behalf of the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBS LEP) is available to businesses in the GBSLEP area that includes Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Redditch, Solihull, Tamworth and Wyre Forest authorities.

As part of the programme, as well as the coaching and mentoring scheme, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - funded Business Development Programme provides financial assistance to existing and eligible SMEs – providing funding of between £10,000 and £15,000 for growth and expansion projects with a minimum cost of £22,990 – subject to criteria and approval by an assessment panel.

For more information about the programme please visit or to apply for the coaching and mentoring scheme visit

Wyre Forest District Council