This programme is funded by BEIS. We do not take equity or charge fees. All support is at no cost to you or your company.
To improve the leadership skills of those managing engineering start ups and SMEs in the UK, through which we aim to support pursuit of excellence in engineering.
We’re looking for leaders of engineering and technology SMEs that are experiencing scale-up ‘growth pains’. Applications from engineers and non-engineers are welcome – if you’re a founder, MD, c-level executive or equivalent, and you have plans to scale your SME, then you should apply.
Your title doesn’t have to be c-suite, but you need to be in a decision-making capacity to make scale-up decisions. If not, the programme wouldn’t be suitable because the aim is to support leaders of scale-ups.
The Academy is committed to diversity and welcomes nominations and nominees from women and other groups who are currently under-represented across engineering, as well as recognising the full breadth of engineering.
No, we are looking for leaders of engineering companies regardless of background. As long as you’re in a senior decision-making role, you can apply.
Each enterprise can submit a maximum of one application for the programme. One additional application will be considered in another round if it is submitted by a candidate belonging to a group that is underrepresented within UK engineering (which will be in six months’ time).
The Academy defines engineering in a broad sense, as can be seen from the range of past SME Leaders Programme participants, which includes robotics, medtech, clean tech, hardware, AI, automotive and materials.
Software companies must exhibit engineering as their core component and should be innovative and protectable. We unfortunately cannot support consultancies. If you are unsure that your company’s activities qualify as engineering, please contact the Programme Manager, Catherine Capone.
The company must be based in the UK and registered with Companies House. For multinational companies, the Head Office must be based in the UK and the measures above must apply to the entire company, not just the UK office.
The programme will begin on 4 March 2021 and applicants must be committed to completing 1.5 hours of one-to-one coaching per month for six months.
Your leadership course(s) should be completed within the six month programme, but there will be some flexibility if your chosen course falls outside these dates.
We also hold monthly workshops, roundtables and events, of which 3 modules will be compulsory (People & Culture modules).
Speaking to your business mentor is not a compulsory element of the programme, but highly recommended you have a catch-up once a monthback to top
We cover travel and accommodation costs for our compulsory events at the Enterprise Hub in London, as well as for your leadership course if it's based in the UK. International travel and accommodation cannot be covered.
All applications will be reviewed by an assessment panel consisting of Fellows of the Academy with entrepreneurial and industrial experience and representatives from the investment community. Applications will be reviewed against the criteria listed in the guidance notes. Please read the Essential Guidance Notes carefully.
Each application is assessed and scored by at least two members of the Panel. The panel then meet in person and discuss all the applications and their assessments, and select which applications will be awarded invited to interview. Performance at interview will then determine who is awarded.
All applications will be assessed against the following selection criteria:
Yes, providing you fulfil the programme's eligibility criteria. If you would like feedback on your previous application, please contact the Programme Manager, Catherine Capone.
The SME Leaders programme selection panel constitutes ten reviewers who agree to a confidentiality agreement before they join the panel. If they declare a conflict of interest with any applicants, they will not have access to that particular application. Members of the Enterprise Hub team will also be able to view the applications. Details of the applications will be kept confidential within the review process.
You can sign up for alerts when we next open the programme here