Promising SME Leaders sought for £10,000 training and development grant

19 Sep 2018

·        The Royal Academy of Engineering’s Enterprise Hub announces applications are now open for the October intake of its SME Leaders Programme

·      Successful applicants will receive grant funding of up to £10,000 to support training needs

The Royal Academy of Engineering has opened a new round of applications for its 2019 SME Leaders programme. Delivered by the Academy’s Enterprise Hub, the programme aims to develop the leadership and business skills of the leaders of the UK’s most promising high-growth engineering SMEs.

The SME Leaders programme will grant successful applicants funding of up to £10,000 towards the cost of their training course. They will also become members of the Academy’s Enterprise Hub where they can benefit from personal mentoring, one to one coaching and monthly masterclasses.

Leadership skills are a crucial component in helping to drive SME growth, and particularly important in the engineering profession as 27% of enterprises in the UK are engineering-led. Recent research from the Scale Up Institute found that a major skills gap in leadership capacity is holding back UK startup companies.

Applications to the programme are sought from leaders of engineering startups and SMEs across the UK. Entries for the October intake must be submitted by 16.00 BST on 26 November 2018 via the Academy’s online grant system:

jennifer griffiths large.jpgOne of the programme’s alumni Jenny Griffiths MBE, CEO of Snap Tech, said “I was fortunate enough to be accepted onto the 2017 SME Leaders Programme and found it a great opportunity to further enhance the business skills needed to scale up Snap Tech.” 

Snap Tech is a visual search platform that matches editorial imagery and user-generated content to a retail product recommendation. Since its first round of capital investment in 2012, the company has raised a further £2.3 million. 

Jenny continued “From my experience, having a great engineering idea just isn’t enough; to successfully scale the company you need to continue to build the business skills to match. Through a number of training opportunities and an extensive support network, the Hub’s programme ensures leaders walk away with the necessary skills to successfully upscale their business.”

Ana Avaliani, Head of Enterprise at the Royal Academy of Engineering, said “The SME Leaders Programme has been running for 18 months and we have been pleased with the progress our current intake has made with many of them practicing their leadership skills - whether launching their first products, raising funds to grow, or entering new markets. The Enterprise Hub exists to provide the skills and support we know are essential in inspiring belief in engineering enterprise. We look forward to receiving some more high quality applications for this round.”

Since 2013, the Enterprise Hub has supported over 100 entrepreneurs and SMEs, helping to develop ideas into investable, high-growth companies.

To date the SME Leaders programme has supported 32 leaders in engineering across sectors such as space technology, artificial intelligence and manufacturing to unlock investment, prepare for rapid growth and establish compelling company cultures to excel in talent acquisition.

For more information on the SME Leaders programme please visit

[1] The state of Engineering, Engineering UK, 2018,

[2] Scale Up Institute, Annual Scaleup Review 2017,



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