The 10-month programme is designed to deliver relevant, accessible and practical learning for the leaders of ambitious growth businesses in Scotland by combining world class executive education with the power of peer learning to develop the discipline of growth.
Launched in 2015, over 50 growth-oriented business owners from all over Scotland have now completed this unique programme.
Coming into the programme, companies averaged almost £2 million in sales with 20 people and collectively have seen a 19 per cent growth in employment and an uptick in sales of 22 per cent since taking part.
GAP is delivered by Scotland’s top entrepreneurship faculty at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship. The programme is led by Professor Eleanor Shaw (ranked in the global list of the 100 leading professors in the field of entrepreneurship) and Professor Jonathan Levie (MIT REAP Scotland’s lead academic and UK co-director of Global Entrepreneurship Monitor). The programme is directed by peer learning expert John Anderson, former chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange.
The programme is structured around six intensive sessions between September and June comprising a one-day orientation session, followed by four two-day workshops covering the advantages that successful growth companies are known to have – market, operations, leadership and resource – and a final reflection and celebration day.
Participants contribute £5,000 each to the cost of the course, with the rest provided by the university’s strategic partners.
John Anderson, programme director, said: “The learning philosophy behind the Growth Advantage Programme is firmly built on research findings on entrepreneurial learning styles and combines the strengths of peer learning with world class executive education.
“We want to help owners take a step back from the daily demands of their business to focus on the best tactics for growing it.
“The substantial impact of the programme – average annualised growth in employment and sales across the cohort exceeding the OECD high growth threshold of 20 per cent – was credited by participants having greater clarity of the business, sharpening their value proposition, extracting more value from current operations, focusing on core values, measuring activities and changes in structures and people.
“The benefits of the programme were not simply realised in terms of business performance but also by the impact on the individuals who cited having greater confidence, more energy, more growth orientation and growing networks as a result of taking part.
“GAP alumni continue to support each other as they grow their businesses and they are still taking advantage of the many opportunities of additional support available from Strathclyde.”