This six-month programme, as part of the Cumbria Growth Hub, is designed for owner-managers, MDs, and senior decision makers of SMEs with a growth aspiration. Develop your strategic thought processes and gain the skills to successfully describe, design, challenge and pivot your business models.

Programme Elements

You will need to attend sessions for 1-2 days per month, and there are no formal assessments as you'll participate in a series of challenges during the programme. The programme includes:

  • Overnight Experiential to build trust and start the challenge
  • Masterclasses from world class speakers such as Jonathan Warburton, Edwin Booth, Loyd Grossman, John Timpson, Mark Adlestone of Beaverbrooks and Peter Cowgill of JD Sports.
  • Business workshops: The Business Model Canvas, Innovation and Finance
  • A company visit: an access all areas at a large regional business
  • An online forum: to discuss and debate
  • Student consultancy projects: an opportunity to have a group of MBA or undergraduate students work on a specific area of your business

The benefits

The programme fully integrates into your business, you will spend time actively working on your business not in it.  The peer network provides the support and the University provides the challenge to your thinking and ways of working.  The programme will provide you with the tools to develop a strategic approach to your business and ultimately generate the growth you need.


This programme is fully funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Businesses must meet the ERDF criteria as below:

  • Based in Cumbria
  • Employ fewer than 250 full-time employees
  • Has an annual turnover less than £40 million
  • Has received less than £160,000 of publicly funded support in the last 3 years
  • Is business to business

Learn More and Apply

Our next programme starts in February 2018.

We're always happy to talk about how the Cumbria Forum could benefit you. Please get in touch with us:

  • Speak to our Business Liaison Officer Pete Cornwall on 01524 510728
  • Email us with your query.