Chancellor Rishi Sunak addresses Deans

Thursday 18 March: The Chartered ABS were proud to host the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, at a meeting of business school Deans today. The Chancellor joined the meeting to outline his ambitions for the Help to Grow: Management programme and set out his support for the UK’s business schools delivering it.

Help to Grow: Management was announced by the Chancellor in the Budget earlier this month. The UK-wide programme will give 30,000 small business leaders and managers the opportunity to attend executive development training delivered by business schools accredited with the Small Business Charter Award.

The Chancellor explained that Help to Grow: Management “was borne of a desire to try to do our bit to give our small and medium sized companies the world class management training and skills to help them take their businesses to the next level. And it builds on much of the work that all of you have already been doing and are doing for our country, which is enormously important.”

Government funding for the programme will provide a 90% subsidy of the cost for businesses to attend. The Chancellor encouraged more business schools to come forward to deliver the programme. He said: “with your support and help, we can roll out Help to Grow: Management to tens of thousands of businesses, financially support them through it, and help them to create lots of jobs and prosperity for them and their employees.”

The Chancellor, who holds an MBA, recognises the role business schools can play in supporting small businesses and the nation’s economic recovery through the new programme. “I’m obviously a passionate believer in the value of management education and what you all do. This is something that is personally very important to me, something that is vital for our country, especially as we come out of Covid. I encourage as many of you as possible to become part of this fantastic programme which we want to benefit businesses wherever they happen to be in the country. We can only do that if all of you come and join us in this endeavour.”

The programme will run for three years. Business schools delivering the programme must be accredited by the Small Business Charter, our national accreditation scheme which is awarded to business schools who excel in supporting SMEs and their local economies. To find out more about how to apply for the Small Business Charter Award, please contact Meenal Datar on

For more information on how to apply for the Small Business Charter Award, please click here.