Creating the future you want for your business and for you

Step back from your day-to-day to work on your business with our exceptionally talented entrepreneurial business experts

The Business Growth Programme (BGP) is designed specifically for owner-managers to take the opportunity to step back from the day-to-day demands of running your business and access our exceptionally talented entrepreneurial business experts who can help you achieve your ambitions for the future. By the end of the programme, you will have the ability and confidence to develop and implement a comprehensive and robust strategy that will take you and your business forward.

Business Growth Programme briefing events

We are offering online and face-to-face events to provide vital information about our Business Growth Programme and how it will support you create the future you want for yourself and your business. Delivered by Dr. Stephanie Hussels and Carol Foussat, you also have opportunities to ask any questions you might have – find out more and book today »

Book a free 1-2-1 consultation with expert

Designed specifically for owner-managers and senior management in SMEs, we are offering free 1-2-1 consultations to help you create the future you want for your business and for yourself – find out more and book today »

Programme information – Face-to-face

  • Dates
    • 15 Sep 2023
    • 09 Feb 2024
    • 06 Sep 2024
  • DurationModular programme
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£13,250 +VAT (inc. five nights accommodation and dinners)
    Concessions available

Module dates

The programme modules run on the following dates:

September 2023
February 2024  September 2024  
Module 1
15-16 September 2023
09-10 February 2024
06-07 September 2024
Module 2 06-07 October 2023
01-02 March 2024
27-28 October 2024
Module 3 20-21 October 2023
22-23 March 2024
11-12 October 2024
Module 4 10-11 November 2023
19-20 April 2024
01-02 November 2024
Review date 1  12 January 2024 07 June 2024
13 December 2024
Review date 2  18 April 2024 05 September 2024
20 March 2025

Course structure

The BGP is a modular programme that allows you to continue to run your business while you participate. The main part of the programme runs over 11 weeks. During that time, there are four two-day modules here at Cranfield. In between the modules, you will be working on developing your own strategy for your business and you will be making immediate improvements. Five weeks after the fourth module is the Business Plan Review, where you will present your strategy and plans to a panel made up of the BGP team and independent advisors.

About six months later we reconvene for the Progress Review Day when we review actual progress against your plan. Throughout the programme, you will be supported by an experienced BGP counsellor who works with you on a 1-2-1 basis, and within a small group, to ensure that you get the maximum value from your BGP experience.

Why BGP?

BGP is focused on equipping you with the knowledge, confidence, and capabilities to meet your own future ambition, whether you are:

  • Seeking to grow your business more quickly and achieve increased profits;
  • A business already growing rapidly where the issue is about controlling the growth;
  • Needing to develop a robust strategy focused on an exit plan;
  • Seeking clarification of goals and drivers;
  • Looking to sharpen your management and leadership capabilities.

This programme has the experience, trust and expertise to support you in developing the dynamic capabilities to create the future you want for you and your business.

‘From £400k loss to £40,000,000 exit in 7 years’ – Jamie Waller, CEO, JBW Group

Join Jamie and thousands of other owner-managers and managing directors who successfully achieved the future they wanted, many of whom have become multi-millionaires as a result of the Business Growth Programme (BGP).

With over 30 years of history and experience in providing the highest level of expertise to help business owners transform their businesses.

A track record of success

Here is just a small list of companies we have helped realised their dream, some of which are household names:

  • Go Ape – Tristram and Rebecca Mayhew both attended BGP in 2004 and 2010 respectively and have grown their business from just 5 sites in the UK in 2004 to 35 UK sites and a dozen more in the US today. It is now an employee-owned business.
  • Hotel Chocolat – Angus Thirlwell, CEO, attended BGP in 2000 with his company, known then as Chocolate Express. Rebranded as Hotel Chocolat in 2003, it now has over 100 stores in the UK and Ireland, 4 in United States and 22 in Japan.
  • Vox Group – Brian Leech, CEO, attended BGP 2014 and has since grown the business five-fold to over $25M revenue in 2022. Vox Group has been now acquired by Communisis parent company OSG.
  • Nosh Detox Delivery – Geeta Sidhu-Robb attended BGP in 2013, which help them cut cost by 28% and grow the business by 110% compared to the year before BGP.
  • Shield Medicare – Richard Salvage, Founder, attended BGP in 2004 and went from zero profit to £1,500,000 in the first year following his participation in BGP. Richard sold Shield Medicare for a significant eight figure sum.

Who is this programme for?

Typically, BGP is for ambitious owner-managers looking to scale and grow their business, that have:

  • been in operation for at least three years;
  • a turnover of between £0.5 million and £30 million;
  • a staff of 5 to 100.

In some circumstances, BGP is also appropriate for managing directors and other senior team members of privately-owned businesses who have strategic control, but not necessarily an ownership stake. If you don’t quite meet the criteria but feel your business will benefit from the BGP, please get in touch to discuss your individual situation at or +44(0)1234 754300.

The BGP has a strong selection process that aims to ensure businesses that do come on the programme will see tangible benefits. Upon application you will first talk to an executive development advisor and if necessary may be referred to a BGP counsellor for further guidance.

What you will learn

The Business Growth Programme is centred on the reality of your business – your current challenges, opportunities, future goals and ambitions. Because of this, the benefits you gain will be unique to you and your organisation. During the programme you will:

  • Develop a robust strategy and plan for your business, ready for implementation.
  • Make immediate improvements personally and professionally.
  • Be allocated a business counsellor dedicated to working with you and who will visit your business.
  • Benefit from a non-competitive peer group, who will input, challenge and support your ambitions.
  • Become part of a unique, powerful network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
  • Leave the programme feeling energised and confident to take your business forward.
  • Have access to market and competitor information.

How does it work?

The BGP is built around a core developmental process whereby each individual participant develops their own growth strategy for their own business and a plan to implement that strategy.

To enable this, the programme consists of a simple yet rigorous structure, comprising three key blocks of strategic thinking to help you achieve goals.

Where are we now?

  • leadership and time management, strategy, technology, process, team, finance.

Where are we going?

  • sales, marketing, personal, business.

How do we get there?

  • change management, measurements.

Core content

Content is delivered by means of lectures from Cranfield University faculty and associates, all experts in their fields and with proven business experience. They key themes that lectures fall under are:

  • Internal Processes
  • External Influences
  • Strategy
  • Leadership

Topics such as strategy, marketing, sales, finance are all covered within these key themes.


What will I get out of it?

The benefits you achieve from your BGP experience will depend on your particular situation. Here are some of the typical benefits that past participants have achieved:

  • Faster and managed growth.
  • A more valuable business.
  • A robust and rigorous plan.
  • More confidence, focus and energy.
  • Improved profitability.
  • Greater clarity about personal goals and drivers.
  • More effective leadership capabilities.
  • Work-life balance improvements.
  • Improved management skills.
  • Greater confidence in the future.
  • Less stress, more time off and more fun!
  • An exit plan (if desirable).
  • A life-changing and inspirational experience.

Find out what some of our past participants have taken away from the programme.

The role of our counsellors

Central and unique to BGP, you’ll work closely with one of our counsellors in a small, non-competitive, peer-to-peer mentoring group of owner-managers. The counsellor will:

  • Be with you from start to end.
  • Facilitate your group of owner-managers.
  • Ensure you get the most out of your BGP experience.
  • Share their expertise and experiences of challenges and opportunities.
  • Act as a ‘flat mirror’.
  • Ensure you stay focused on your priorities.
  • Protect confidentiality.

The BGP counsellor plays a key role in the development – and indeed the lives – of the participants that they mentor. In many cases the relationship does not end when the programme ends, but often continues well into the future, as does the bond formed between the delegates themselves.


To be considered for a place on the BGP, what we typically look for is owner-managers of businesses that have been in operation for 3 or more years, with a staff of 5 to 50 and a turnover between £0.5m and £20m. In some circumstances, we will also consider managing directors and other senior team members of privately owned businesses who have strategic control but not necessarily an ownership stake. 

The BGP has a strong selection process that aims to ensure businesses that do come on the programme will see tangible benefits. Upon application you will first talk to an executive development advisor and if necessary may be referred to a BGP counsellor for further guidance.

Listen to how past participants have benefited

You’ve got to take time out. There’s never a good time. You are always going to be busy as an owner-manager. But making the commitment to take time out of the business, so that you can really focus your efforts will make you a lot more productive.

BGP has enabled me to build a future for my business, rather than a month-to-month headache, and has helped me understand what I need to focus on to keep myself happy.

Our growth and profits are all up versus the corresponding period last year. That in its self is a remarkable achievement. I owe all of this to the Cranfield BGP course. It is and will probably remain the single best investment decision I have ever made.


20% discount (tuition fee only) for Cranfield School of Management Alumni who have attended one of our eligible leadership programmes.

Tuition, course materials and lifelong access to Alumni Membership benefits are included in the price of this course.

Location and travel

Cranfield School of Management is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. 

The School is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield Management Development Centre 
Wharley End
MK43 0HG

How to apply

If you feel that the Business Growth Programme could be for you, please apply now. We will then contact you to take you through the booking process.

Apply now

This course is provided by Cranfield Management Development Ltd a wholly owned subsidiary of Cranfield University