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The ASCEND Scale Up Programme is a dynamic, 6-month flagship development initiative by GM Business Growth Hub. Tailored for local founders of high-growth businesses in Greater Manchester, ASCEND is designed to rapidly scale your business and achieve your ambitions.





What can you expect from this action-packed programme?

Tailored to the needs of the ambitious founders who participate in the programme:


Hands-on workshops designed to drive significant growth and improvement based on your needs, including the “Strategy to Action” day at KPMG.

Personalised Coaching and Mentoring

Receive expert guidance and support to help you scale.

Experiential Travel

Step out of your comfort zone with the chance to attend Web Summit 2024 in Lisbon to expand your global connections and insights.

Funding Opportunities

Connect you with active investors to present your business and enhance your funding prospects.

Elite Network

Join a community of high-growth founders, offering collaborative support and networking opportunities.

Fireside Chats

Gain valuable knowledge and insights from the successes and failures of seasoned entrepreneurs and founders.

As part of the ASCEND Scale Up Programme, our partner KPMG will lead a number of delivery days, including "Strategy to Action", focusing on translating strategic vision into actionable plans and fostering a culture of success. Participants will gain insights into strategy frameworks, strategic options assessment, and overcoming challenges in setting growth strategies. They'll also learn techniques to cultivate a culture for success within their teams, empowering them to drive tangible results and innovation.

Experience the World's Largest Tech Conference

ASCEND participants will have the opportunity to attend Web Summit in Lisbon November 2024. Join by over 70,000 attendees, the event offers a great learning and networking opportunity to gain industry inspiration and global exposure.




ASCEND Scale Up is a 6-month programme starting in mid-September 2024

The first ASCEND Scale Up cohort comprising 25 ambitious founders poised for exponential growth.

Founders interested in the programme are encouraged to apply by Friday, 26th July 2024. 

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview between 5th – 16th August 2024



Eligibility Criteria

  • You are a Greater Manchester based founder of any sector.
  • You can demonstrate a clear vision and potential to scale rapidly in the year ahead.
  • You are ready to commit to the 6-month (part-time) in-person programme in Manchester to take your business to the next level.
  • You are a visionary leader committed to seizing the opportunities that ASCEND offers.




Still not sure if the ASCEND Scale Up is right for you? Our most common questions are here.

If you still have questions, get in touch.

Contact Us 

The ASCEND Scale Up Programme is a flagship initiative by GM Business Growth Hub designed to assist ambitious businesses in Greater Manchester with scaling up their operations. It offers a blend of workshops, personalised guidance, networking opportunities, and resources tailored to the needs of scaling businesses.

The programme is open to leaders from businesses of any size and sector located in Greater Manchester, demonstrating the potential for rapid growth in the year ahead. Applicants should be primary owners or decision-makers within their organisations, with a clear rationale for participating in the programme.

The programme runs for a period of six months, from September 2024 to March 2025, providing participants with ample time to implement strategies and insights gained during the programme.

The programme includes workshops focusing on fundamental aspects of scaling, leadership development, personalised guidance from Business Advisors, experiential visits, peer-to-peer networking opportunities, and access to resources within the Greater Manchester business ecosystem.

The cohort consists of 25 businesses, ensuring a conducive environment for meaningful interactions, collaboration, and peer learning.

Participants receive specialised support from Business Advisors to develop and execute their Growth Plans, encompassing areas such as personal development, businss strategy, finance, talent management, operations, and marketing.

Business leaders are selected through an application and interview process, with emphasis placed on their vision, potential for growth, and commitment to leveraging the opportunities provided by the programme.

The time commitment required will vary from week to week, as we will tailor the programme to your needs. Cohort sessions will run every 3-4 weeks, plus meetings with your personal Business Advisor and your own focus time.

There is ongoing support after completing the programme. Participants have access to an Alumni Network, providing opportunities for continued engagement, learning, and collaboration beyond the duration of the programme.

Interested business leaders should fill out the expression of interest form available on the GM Business Growth Hub website. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview to assess their suitability for the programme.

GM Business Growth Hub will fund the tickets, programme of activity, hotel, and breakfast. Participants should fund their travel to Lisbon and other meals.

All founders of one business will be able to access the programme but only one will be able to attend a funded place at Web Summit.

Expression of Interest

Take that first step and we’ll support you with whatever you need to succeed.

* Must have 2+ to be eligible

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