By Marcus Leach

A new programme that will provide dedicated and structured coaching support for up to 10,000 high growth potential businesses a year has taken another step forward today (Tuesday).

The Coaching for Growth Consortium has signed a contract to deliver the programme, which is scheduled to be fully operational by March 2012.

The programme will provide small and mid-sized businesses with coaches who will work with senior management teams to help them develop and deliver strategies to achieve their growth potential.

It is part of the Government’s drive to help small and mid-sized businesses improve their leadership, gain access to finance and increase export and innovation performance.

It will also connect businesses to other relevant forms of support such as business angel networks, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) or the Manufacturing Advisory Service (MAS).

“Providing intensive and quality coaching for high growth potential businesses is vital to their continued success and their ability to help the UK economy grow," Business and Enterprise Minister Mark Prisk said.

"This programme is the latest step the Government is taking to ensure small and mid-sized businesses are well equipped to thrive here and abroad.

“I know from talking to businesses that they face a range of challenges in growing, such as raising finance, securing new customers and strengthening their leadership capabilities. I want to make sure that we can give them the tools to overcome these obstacles and the success of this programme will be judged on the level of growth it delivers to the UK economy.”

The Coaching for Growth Consortium is led by Grant Thornton and comprises Winning Pitch, Oxford Innovation, Pera and seven other local delivery partners. The programme will complement the existing mentoring scheme, Mentorsme, but differs by focusing only on high growth potential businesses and by placing the emphasis on coaching executive teams to address business issues and growth.

“We are delighted to be part of this ambitious new programme. Together with our consortium partners we offer a wealth of experience in assisting businesses with high growth potential to achieve their goals and make a real difference to the wider economy,” Karl Eddy, Partner at Grant Thornton said.

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