GAPSTI offered support to Greek SMEs to participate at the Judge Business School Strategic Business Growth Programme.
Since 2015, the Entrepreneurship Centre of the Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS) has been offering a programme dedicated to SMEs, the Strategic Business Growth Programme. Led by Stelios Kavadias, Margaret Thatcher Professor of Enterprise Studies in Innovation and Growth, the programme’s aim is to systematically develop the managerial capability of SME leadership teams.
The Programme is designed for SMEs with an annual turnover above £500k, governed by talented and ambitious management teams who are seeking to scale up their companies. Each company participates with up to three executives including the CEO or managing director.
Participant teams set attainable growth objectives and get help to achieve these using a set of tools, as well as some key performance indicators to monitor their progress. A series of six workshops is delivered in three two-day modules over the course of four months. The sessions provide access to the latest management thinking on developing and managing growth, and facilitate the development of customised actions based on the workshop insights as well as the experienced growth challenges of the participant companies.
For its fifth cohort (September 2019–January 2020) GAPSTI offered funding to five Greek SMEs to enable their participation in this Programme, namely Corporate Relocations Greece, Elemsi, Elviomex ALFA, Klimatechniki and Watera. The companies were all from different backgrounds (services, manufacturing, utilities) but all shared a desire to develop their leadership team and define a growth strategy.
The participants valued the fact that they were able to identify the challenges lying ahead, to draw a growth plan that helps overcome the challenges, and to master new tools that help them implement the growth plan.
Feedback from participating SMEs:
Corporate Relocations: With mixed feelings, we just finalised the third and final module at Cambridge University. On the one hand, we feel so fortunate we had the opportunity to participate in this enlightening journey. It was an absolute pleasure to meet and be educated from professors lecturing in the programme, sharing their knowledge, in making us understand how we can evaluate our company, be better leaders, rethink our marketing and most of all learn how to continue servicing our clients in the best way in this constantly changing world. Their hospitality, authenticity, and friendliness were unique.
Elviomex: Our participation in the SME growth challenge programme was a unique chance for us to learn who we are, who we want to become and how we will manage to make this happen. The Programme covered most of the aspects that a management team must take into consideration in order to drive the growth of the organisation, and moreover it taught us where we, as a management team, have to focus and how we can work together in order to motivate everyone inside our company to get engaged with our vision. The modules were perfectly designed and the interaction during them as well as the time between them was essential in order to turn theory into practice. We really managed to change our mindset, focusing on what really matters and setting up a growth strategy that can be followed and can achieve results. (Leonidas Avgerakis, CEO)
Elemsi: In these three modules we learned a lot of new things about enabling and implementing our strategic growth, how to create a culture for growth within our company and how to manage productivity, profitability, customer satisfaction, and employee motivation. Each module gave us different cognitive skills, ideas, and implementations that will become very useful
tools for us. Even the workshops during the sessions gave us the first ‘seed’ from which we began to expand the way we think and therefore the way the business operates. Certainly,the most productive part for our company was the coaching sessions between the modules that gave us the opportunity for constructive brainstorming and teamwork to develop new ideas for our future growth. Undoubtedly, we will use all of these useful tools for setting up a new strategic position that will help
us be sustainable and efficient. We hope in the future to have the opportunity to participate in another strategic plan for the further development of our business by learning more from our teachers. (Dimitris Stamatelopoulos, CEO)