Growth through Green: Ready for Scale – a 12-week programme to enable the next phase of your growth as a Micro-/SME

Are you an entrepreneur, micro/SME or freelancer who wants to take their business to the next level? If you are, how do you successfully realise the ambitions you have for your business?

With our unique experience from running the oldest owner-manager growth programme in the country, and as the Entrepreneurial Hub at Cranfield University, we know how to identify and overcome the most critical barriers for your success in this exciting and high growth market sector.

We have tailored our 12-week programme to meet your needs. At the start of your journey, it is crucial to be aware of how to spend your resources, be it time or money. As part of this programme, you will learn the fundamental skills required to build and grow a successful business in the green economy.

The programme is designed to work around your busy schedule. The unique combination of onsite events and online modules will allow you to network with the counsellors and connect with other participants. You will also be encouraged to engage in direct interaction with the moderators.

Each module acts as a stepping stone in your company’s journey, equipping you with the tools to analyse your own business and apply your learnings, having an immediate impact on your day-to-day work.

In addition to unlocking your company’s potential, during the 12-week programme you will help you understand and articulate the benefits and value of your green product or service to your target market(s) to create Growth through Green: Ready for Scale.

Target candidates for this programme include those active in (but are not limited to) clean air production, water/waste management, agritech, low carbon building technology, energy generation and storage, energy efficient solutions, and enabling technologies such as solutions for the circular economy and new materials.

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Module leaders

The core team of module leaders are managing the Growth through Green: Ready for Scale programme the delivery is supported by experienced practitioners with a deep knowledge of the sector. Therefore, you get access to the specific insights and content of relevant SME’s who have overcome the challenges you are facing.

Stephanie Hussels

Stephanie HusselsProgramme Director

Stephanie teaches on executive, graduate, and doctoral levels on entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial finance, family business and quantitative research methods. Besides working with entrepreneurs, Stephanie cooperates with charities and firms on how to encourage and implement intrapreneurship. Stephanie has a passion for early stage and growth companies, particularly family businesses. As part of her role at Cranfield School of Management she is the Director of the Business Growth Programme (BGP), the longest established owner-manager programme in the UK. Previously, Stephanie was the Director of the full-time MBA programme at Cranfield.

Stephanie's current research focuses on entrepreneurial resilience, family business and business survival. Stephanie has written several prize-winning case studies and is now frequently asked to give talks about case study writing and teaching.

Stephanie has also been an invited member of the judging panel for the National Business Awards, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, Growth Investor Award and the Case Centre Awards Competition. She has also been an external mentor at JLAB, the John Lewis incubator.

John McGillivray

John McGillivrayBusiness Counsellor

John McGillivray has a strong international dimension to his diverse career. Schooled in Ireland, he graduated from university in South Africa and has lived and worked in Africa, UK, Asia and Australia. He has held full management and P&L responsibility as CEO or General Manager for subsidiaries of global multinational companies, and also established and ran his own business.

Starting off his working career John worked as a technician, providing him with the fundamental understanding of his products and what his customers need. This knowledge and experience was invaluable as his career subsequently took a commercial and business management direction. Over the next 20 years John was the MD for a Joint Venture business in India, Country Head in Korea, Product Manager for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong, and General Manager for the Malaysia subsidiary. He then spent a couple of years developing a biodiesel business in SE Asia and established his own service business, before relocating to Australia where he was responsible for running a contract application liquid fertiliser business. John returned to the UK as Commercial and Marketing Director (EMEA) of an AIM listed biotech business.

More recently John established RCD Business Acceleration, focussing on working with clients in the SME sector who are seeking to move their business forwards. Working with people for whom their businesses are their life, rather than the source of a salary is what most motivates him.

Sabrina Sommer

Sabrina Sommer

Entrepreneurship Programme Manager

Sabrina is a successful, innovative and bi-lingual (fluent German and English) Director of Programme Management and C-level advisor with nearly 20 years of experience in agile, hybrid and waterfall multi-sector digital transformation and change management programmes.

She has a BSc Computer Science /Dipl. Ing (BA) Information Technology International from the Cooperative State University Mannheim / Open University London, an Executive MBA from Cranfield University and is a trained Executive Coach.

In her professional career, she was often called upon for crisis management, programme intervention and management of critical deliveries. Her passion is to generate the right work environment for teams to be able to work together and enable them to turn the programmes into very successful deliveries.

After finishing her MBA at Cranfield University, in November 2018, she realised how bigger the impact is she can have when working with entrepreneurs and students. She joined the Bettany Centre of Entrepreneurship in Spring 2019 and is now responsible for the Management and Entrepreneurship curriculum design as part of the MK:U team and is delivering the strategic projects of the Bettany Centre to increase the impact and outreach of the various Entrepreneurship Programmes.

With her deep understanding of the digital business world and a passion for coaching and personal development, Sabrina is a successful career and Executive Coach, always helping her clients to achieve goals beyond what they thought possible.




Week 0

Online introductions

Week 1 - Friday 20 Sep 2019

Introduction at Cranfield University

Week 2 - 23-29 Sep 2019

Module 1 - Understanding your business model

Week 3 - 30 Sep – 6 Oct 2019

Module 2 – Understanding your value proposition 

Week 4 - 7-13 Oct 2019

Moderation 1 & 2

Week 5 - 14 – 20 Oct 2019

Module 3 – Develop your operations strategy

Week 6 - 21-27 Oct 2019

Module 4 – Employment fundamentals

Week 7 - 28 Oct – 3 Nov 2019

Moderation 3 & 4

Week 8 - 4 – 10 Nov 2019

Module 5 – Understanding your numbers

Week 9 - 11 – 17 Nov 2019

Module 6 – Ready for scale 

Weeks 10 & 11 &12

Pitch preparation

Week 12 - Friday 6 Dec 2019

Growth plan presentations at Cranfield University

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Why should you join the Growth through Green: Ready for Scale programme?

  • The Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University is internationally recognised for its work with entrepreneurs, SMEs and larger companies, helping them to overcome their growth challenges and successfully grow their business.
  • The material is tailored to your needs as Micro/SMEs in the initial phase of your business journey, and the delivery is supported by experienced practitioners with a deep knowledge of the sector. Therefore, you get access to the specific insights and content of relevant SME’s who have overcome the challenges you are facing.
  • By joining the programme, you gain access to the wider network of technical and commercial resources and will become part of Cranfield University Alumni Network. This will give you access to our academics, our Angel Investor network, industrial partners, and a wide range of regular events such as our annual SME conference “Venture Day”. Whilst on campus, you will also have the opportunity to access our online databases for market research and you can access a selection of sources via the course platform from outside the campus.
  • This is an excellent opportunity to network and share learning with a group of similar SMEs, and begin to develop a wider network of sector-specific contacts.

Time commitment

  • 2-3 hours a week for each of the six modules via remote online learning (including written material, podcasts and videos), wider reading of reference materials and completion of online homework. Submission Date is always at 23:59 on Sunday night.
  • Willingness to engage with and share learning and experiences with your peers via our online community.
  • 30 online meeting during moderation weeks for 1:1 feedback regarding homework.
  • Minimum of 3 hours each week in final two weeks dedicated to preparation for the final growth plan.
  • Optional: you can request an online 1:1 meeting to receive feedback during your Growth Plan preparation before the final event.

Course fees

Effectively* £1,500 for the 12 weeks (ex VAT) – subsidised by European ERDF funding

*You pay a tuition fee of £3,000 and get a refund from the ERDF of £1,500. We will manage the refund, processing the necessary paperwork should only take a few weeks.

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Cranfield University is located at the very heart of the UK – within the innovation triangle between London and the cities of Oxford and Cambridge.

Our central location provides easy access from the M1, excellent main line rail service as well as proximity to key international airports. Set in rolling countryside, Cranfield offers a rich, rural landscape complemented by thriving towns and picturesque villages.

  • Road: We are just 10 minutes from Junctions 13 and 14 of the M1 motorway. There is free parking on campus.
  • Rail: Milton Keynes or Bedford
  • Air: London Luton (22 miles), Heathrow (50 miles) or Birmingham (70 miles)

For further travel details please visit our Location page.