Monthly Archives: February 2014

The tricky first million

Growth Accelerator Diane Shawe

Growth Accelerator Diane Shawearticle by Diane Shawe M.Ed   AVPT Ltd

It is often assumed that raising external, or third party, equity is a prerequisite to business success. In the majority of cases, this could not be further from the truth. Most businesses start with very limited funding, and as these businesses develop, they bootstrap their growth, using their own profits and assets to finance their needs. As a result, they get to keep their potentially valuable equity in the hands of the founder or the family, along with the choices and freedom that brings.  Often the next step up from that is developing the owner managers skills to take them to the next 2-3 million.

For some companies, however, the size of the opportunity or the need for fixed or working capital exceeds the available resources. In these cases, raising external equity may be the only available option.

Diane caught up with up with Lotwina Farodoye, Growth Manager for Growth Accelerator at Grant Thornton’s Euston offices  last week and put these questions to her:

So What is GrowthAccelerator?

Growth Accelerator is a unique service led by some of the country’s most successful growth specialists.  A partnership between leading private sector business growth experts led by Grant Thornton, and backed by a £200 million investment from the Government, GrowthAccelerator gets to the heart of the barriers that are holding  businesses back;  helping identify the critical steps you need to take to achieve your next phase of growth – rapidly and sustainably.

 How does Growth Accelerator Achieve this?

We’ll work with businesses to develop a growth plan which is completely bespoke to the needs of a business.  It will involve a commitment of  time but with the support tailored to your business priorities and the way you work, we won’t waste your time on issues you’ve already got covered.

So what does Growth Accelerator focus on?

We focus on three core areas: Access to Finance, Business Development or Growth through Innovation.  All three are delivered through a combination of coaching, workshops and masterclasses.

What will GrowthAccelerator do for my business?

GrowthAccelerator will give you the framework to :

  • Build a successful growth strategy
  • Discover new routes to funding and investment
  • Unlock your capacity for innovation
  • Build on the power of your people
  • Unite and inspire your leadership team; and

How is GrowthAccelerator different from other services?

GrowthAccelerator offer matched funding up to £2,000 per senior manager in the business, who’s pursuing training that will help improve their performance and help the business grow.  (This offer is available once the company is a participant on GrowthAccelerator) This is where approved company’s such as Academy of Vocational & Professional Training come in and deliver the bespoke training.

Who is Growth Accelerator right for?

GrowthAccelerator exclusively targets businesses with potential for high growth who want to enter their next growth phase and have the potential and determination to get there.

If that’s not where you are, then GrowthAccelerator isn’t right for you.  But if it is right your business and you fully commit to the support owe give, your business will grow and grow faster.

Who is Eligible for Growth Accelerator ?

To be eligible for GrowthAccelerator, a business must be registered in the UK and based in England, have fewer than 250 employees and have a turnover of less than £40m.

What investment is required?

Your contribution will depend on the size of your business.  With Government co-investing in the growth of your business and making a major contribution towards the cost, you pay only a one-off fee.

 1 to 4 employees………………………………….     £600 + £700 VAT* = £1,300

5 to 49 employees…………………………………. £1,500 + £700 VAT* = £2,200

50 to 249 employees…………………………….   £3,000 + £700 VAT* = £3,700

* VAT is based on 20% of the nominal value of the service – £3,500

if you want to find out more just contact diane on

AVPT Growth Accelerator Training Providers portrait

Enterprise Women Launching Club in Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster

Calling ALL BUSINESSWOMEN in Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster!!  Are you looking to grow your business and build strong local networks of trusted peers who will share and learn from each other? Do you want to be part of a community of substance that understands female-owned businesses and delivers practical value to its members?

County House

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 – 10:00 to 12:00


County House

Venue address:

46 New Broad Street, London, EC2M 1JH


£27.60 inc VAT (includes lunch)

Then local host, Diane Shawe, offers you a warm welcome to join her at the Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Women’s Business Club launch. The event is for women who are looking for that extra special support, advice, collaborative relations to help them develop and expand their business.  Join us on Linkedin

Get your free copy when you attend this event

Diane is Chief Executive Officer of the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training Ltd, which provides online and workshop fast-track soft skills training courses, Ms. Shawe is passionate about technology and the impact it will have on delivering training to students on the move that can be measured and proven. In addition Diane sits on several executive committee which includes the Conservative Education Society. As well as being a published author of several business books including, “The 10 habits of a successful women Rainmaker – From Tactics to Strategy: What works”, which is included!

Our first theme will be called, “No Random acts of Lunch.” The people who are most successful at business development, do not commit “random acts of lunch”.

Diane, will also be discussing how plans can take on many different forms and why developing your negotiation skills is VITAL! She will look at the 10 steps of honing in your negotiation skills, so that you never have to stumble away feeling unsure, vulnerable or disappointed about a meeting or presentation.  This will be the best 2 hours you could spend.

We are delighted to have guest speaker Bev Hurley at our meeting. A dynamic serial entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor and one of the UK’s leading authorities on female entrepreneurship, Bev Hurley has spent more than 30 years building successful businesses of all sizes – and sharing her expertise to create and grow hundreds of others.


Diane Shawe

The Kensington, Chelsea and Westminster Business Club is being hosted by Diane Shawe. She is the founder and CEO of two successful training companies based in London and Luxembourg as well as an established publisher of several business books. Diane has a wealth of knowledge and experience across multi-disciplines. Diane believes that people should try to integrate the following practice into their daily lives: “never do anything as though you are a professional amateur”

Bev Hurley

A dynamic serial entrepreneur, mentor, angel investor and one of the UK’s leading authorities on female entrepreneurship, Bev Hurley has spent more than 30 years building successful businesses of all sizes – and sharing her expertise to create and grow hundreds of others.
So what are you waiting for? Book your place now!

We look forward to seeing you all there…

To book your place, first log in or create a new account, and click the BUY NOW

If you have any problems registering for this event, please email

Academy of Vocational & Professional training becomes approved training provider for Growth Accelerator

AVPT Growth Accelerator Training Providers 2014The Academy of Vocational and Professional Training are excited to become an approved training provider for GrowthAccelerator through Grant Thornton.

GrowthAccelerator is a partnership between some of the UK’s leading, private sector growth specialists – Grant Thornton, Innovation and Winning Pitch and backed by Government, to help businesses with high growth potential. If you have fewer than 250 staff, and less than £40 million turnover, you may qualify for up to £2000 per person funding for leadership and management development.   Diane Shawe the CEO is delighted to be supporting the new GrowthAccelerator initiative .

GrowthAccelerator, is a new £200m Government backed programme that aims to provide SMEs across England with the know-how and ability to achieve rapid and sustainable growth.

Lotwina, one of the growth managers at Grant Thornton London, explains  “the GrowthAccelerator initiative  incorporates a training grant for bespoke training development programmes for  management team; expert coaching support and tailored business workshops”.

AVPT will be delivering bespoke training courses in Leadership and management which are a key part of GrowthAccelerator, with every participating business given an opportunity to develop the skills of their leaders and senior managers through match-funded training.

Through GrowthAccelerator, businesses can claim up to £2,000 per senior manager to match fund the cost of leadership and management training that supports the growth objectives of the business.

business man hand touch virtual 3d leadership skillMatch funding significantly increases the value of any senior management training your client invests in – and gives you an opportunity to deliver more leadership and management training relevant to your client’s needs.

Currently there is no limit on the number of senior managers who can be supported, and different managers within the business can undertake different training programmes.

GrowthAccelerator has been developed for businesses with the capacity, commitment and ambition to significantly increase their turnover or employment over the next few years. Many of the companies that AVPT works with and supports are exactly those that this service is aiming to attract and engage with. We are therefore working closely with the GrowthAccelerator programme to cross-refer potential clients and to ensure a good fit between our respective offerings and activities.

Growth Accelerator Diane ShaweWe would love to check your eligibility. We can then partner with you in order to build and deliver a 50% funded training programme that will help power your business to the next level.

For more information and to see how GrowthAccelerator could help your business, please email us on

80% students get qualified