From survival to stabilised and moving forward: new business initiative launched

Sabrina Sommer - Cranfield University School of Management
Sabrina Sommer - Cranfield University School of Management

Funded through a partnership between Cranfield University and SEMLEP’s Growth Hub, a new business response programme will assist businesses from Covid-19 crisis survival, on to regaining control of the business direction and finally getting ready to bounce forward.

The six-month BGP Response Programme at Cranfield University is a three-phased programme of activities to help owner-managers of small and medium businesses face the specific business challenges of the Covid-19 crisis and to help them get their businesses ready for the transition to a new business environment.

- Survival phase: Providing immediate support and advice to help SMEs survive. Including getting information about financial support measures, recognising key priorities to focus on right now and, how to lead your team through this crisis.

- tabilise phase: Regaining control of the business direction. Learning new skills to stabilise the day-to-day operations in the new conditions and analyse which is the best scenario going forward.

- Bounce forward phase: Embracing the new normal and learning to adapt the business strategy. How to bounce forward and develop the business in the new environment.


The programme offers a variety of webinars, tailored masterclasses, workshops and business advice seminars, and participants are supported through a strong peer to peer network. All events are led by growth and leadership experts from the Bettany Centre of Entrepreneurship at Cranfield University and advisers from the Government-backed SEMLEP’s Growth Hub.

Sabrina Sommer, Programme Manager BGP Response Programme, Cranfield School of Management said, “our aim is to help our over 2700 businesses strong alumni community as well as local and national owner-managers through these overwhelming unprecedented times of Covid-19. Building on our already successful collaboration with SEMLEP, this partnership allows both organisations to bundle resources and expertise to help our local and national business community.”

Vicky Hlomuka, SEMLEP’s Growth Hub Manager said, “Our early attention has rightly been on getting timely information about financial help out to local businesses and, sharing information with agencies responsible for managing them where the gaps and challenges are being felt by local business.

“Partnering with Cranfield in this programme, we are able to provide local businesses with more specialist support needed at this time. We continue to work with Government and local colleagues on how best to support the economic recovery of the region in the longer term.”


Businesses can register their interest in the different offerings of the BGP Response Programme at www.bgpresponseprogramme.co.uk. Information can also be found on SEMLEP Growth Hub’s website

www.semlepgrowthhub.com and through the Growth Hub business support helpline on 0300 01234 35 where advisers can talk to businesses about their specific needs and options.

Businesses may also be eligible for a fully-funded leadership programme designed for scale-up or pre-scale up business owners. Through Growth Curve, a programme funded by the European Regional Development Fund, eligible businesses will receive one-to-one advice and coaching, masterclasses, and options to apply for match-grant funding. Growth Curve provides businesses with specialist advice, information and expertise from three universities, the University of Bedfordshire, Cranfield University and University of Northampton.