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Cranfield School of Management: Business Growth Programme

Leadership Capacity

Impact for scaleups




Average yearly revenue growth


Sales increase

Key sectors

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

Cranfield’s Business Growth Programme (BGP) is a longest-established leadership programme for ambitious owner-managed businesses. The Business School has been running the programme since 1988 offering high quality executive education with practical advice and guidance from a business counsellor. The programme was endorsed in the 2017 Review for demonstrating the value of linking scaleup leaders with peers in both the classroom and the business.

Typical participants have been operating for at least three years, with turnover between £0.5m and £20m. More than 2,500 business leaders have completed the nine-month programme participating in modules held over four weekends. Between these they develop their strategy and make immediate improvements.

Each participant is allocated a business counsellor, who works with them and visits the business. After the final module they present their strategy to a panel of BGP and independent advisers. Participants leave with a robust and rigorous business growth plan, which is reviewed for progress three months later.

Alumni can join regionally-run BGP Clubs providing a network of support and mentoring. Alumni also ‘give back’ to the programme by sharing their experiences with current participants, providing funding and scholarships as well as mentoring new entrants.

Analysis of the programme shows participants grow their businesses faster than their peers. On average revenue growth is 19% a year, profits grow year on year by 41% and sales increase by 21%.

Cranfield has now introduced a follow-on Advanced BGP for owners to think beyond the basic mechanics of the business and develop a growth model that is more innovative. Over two days participants undertake a range of executive education, including learning how to use a tool to identify customer needs that can help them create innovative products that customers want. They also examine the current economic climate to spot threats and opportunities for their business and hear from the experiences of rapid growth businesses.


Cranfield School of Management: Business Growth Programme website