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Course for 'ambitious entrepreneurs' reaches 20 yrs.

Nearly 20 years of helping ambitious entrepreneurs realise their business potential will be reached in January, when the 2007 Business Growth and Development Programmes (BGP) begin at the Cranfield School of Management.

Since 1988 almost 1,000 owner-managers have taken part in the BGP, including well-known entrepreneurs such as Karan Bilimoria of Cobra Beer, Angus Thirlwell of Hotel Chocolat and Lara Morgan at Pacific Direct.

Cranfield is now recruiting for the first BGP of 2007, which kicks off on January 19. Free briefing seminars held this autumn will allow prospective candidates to meet course staff and talk to previous participants about the impact of the course on their businesses.

Cranfield aims to run the BGP three times next year, to meet an increasing demand for places.

According to Cranfield, participants in the BGP come from across the UK and from 'all walks of business life--hi-tech, lo-tech and even no-tech'. Corporate development manager Paul Kitson added: 'They share, however, a common passion for their businesses, and a common aspiration to grow their businesses and develop themselves as leaders.

'Businesses that take part are typically at least three years old and turning over between 750,000 [pounds sterling] and 20m [pounds sterling]. Four out of five participants report that they recover the costs of participation by the time the programme has finished.'

David Molian, co-director of Credo--the part of Cranfield that runs the BGP--told TJ that the programme was set up because Cranfield spotted a gap in the skills-development market for 'the ambitious owner-manager sector'. He said: 'They are probably no more than 10 to 15 per cent of the SME population but there is clearly a niche there. When we started the BGP there was nothing there at all in terms of business development.

'They've been flocking to us ever since!'

Molian said the course addressed four or five key issues facing owner-managers. It showed them how to develop their businesses by 'finding new ways of selling more of the same kind of thing to the people who like them'; it demonstrated how to set the right financial objectives; it taught them how to manage their behaviour, enabling them to stop being either 'heroes' or 'meddlers'; it showed them how to plan long-term strategies rather than dealing with day-today managing, and it made them align their own personal ambitions with the business objectives.
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Title Annotation:Cranfield University's Cranfield School of Management starting 2007 Business Growth and Development Programmes
Publication:Training Journal
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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