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Cranfield School of Management: Business Growth Programme

Leadership Capacity

Impact for scaleups


Business leaders participated since 1988


Average sales increase after completing BGP


Smaller high-growth firms participated in the R4S and R4NZG programmes

Key sectors

Impact ventures / Social Impact Life Sciences & Biotech Building & Construction Manufacturing / Advanced Manufacturing Creative, digital, film, games & media Professional services Defence & security Technology & Communications Engineering / Advanced Engineering Transport & Logistics Environmental Science & Technology Farming, fisheries & forestry Finance Food & drink Healthcare

More than 3,200 business leaders have participated in Cranfield’s Business Growth Programme (BGP) since its launch in 1988. The programme is aimed at ambitious owner-managed businesses with at least five employees and turnover exceeding £500k. Typical participants have been operating for at least three years and have a turnover between £0.5m and £30m with ambitions to scale and take their business to the next stage of development.

BGP combines the latest academic thinking with peer-to-peer learning and facilitates conversations around key topics. Participants leave the programme with a robust business growth plan which is presented to a panel of independent advisors for feedback and then reviewed against progress after 6 months.

BGP alumni report sales growth and profit growth of 30% post completion of the programme and include household names such as Cobra Beer, Thatchers Cider, Hotel Chocolat and Go Ape. Its impact is evidenced by entrepreneurs returning to the programme a second time to address new growth challenges.

Cranfield has collaborated with several local councils to provide full scholarships to its Ready for Scale programme for micro/small businesses. Developed in 2018/19 the programme delivers the BGP ethos to ambitious micro and small SMEs with growth ambitions.

In 2022, Cranfield also launched its Ready for Net Zero Growth programme, an 18-week online growth programme for businesses looking to integrate their Net Zero ambitions into their business growth plans. Subject matter experts from Cranfield’s School of Management and School of Energy & Sustainability deliver this programme which includes self-paced learning, online tutorials and one to one coaching along with the completion of a carbon audit and a business growth plan. To date, more than 200 SMEs have participated in the Ready for Scale and Ready for Net Zero Growth programmes.

Cranfield School of Management: Business Growth Programme website