When are sessions at Strategy Insight Lab going to take place?

The 7 sessions at Strategy Insight Lab will be delivered in two cycles: Saturdays or Weekdays. If you choose the Saturday option, you will be allocated to either the morning session (10am – 1pm) or to the afternoon session (2pm – 5pm). If you choose the Weekdays option, you will be allocated to either the Wednesday session  or to the Thursday session (both 6pm – 9pm). 

The applicant can indicate her/his preference for either one of the cycles, but it is not possible to know to which session she/he is going to be assigned  (i.e. morning/afternoon for Saturdays; Wednesday/Thursday for weekdays) until closer to the start date.

For organisational reasons, once assigned to one cycle, it is not possible to switch.


After the first 7 core sessions, participants will be invited to exclusive monthly events focused on specific topics and to a final demo day with investors in November 2019. Only those who attend at least 5 sessions out of 7 will be invited to monthly events and the final demo day.

Is it compulsory to attend all sessions?

Participation to all sessions is strongly encouraged for making the most out of the programme. However, participants are allowed to skip up to 2 sessions out of the 7 core sessions. A higher number of missed classes will not allow to continue with the programme. This will imply that it will not be possible to access course materials, receive the final certificate of participation as well as taking part in the (by invitation-only) monthly events and in the Strategy Insight Lab demo day. 

What is the class size?

To ensure a high quality learning experience, participants will be divided into small classes (approx. 12-18 firms in each class). In this way each participant will have the opportunity to interact with everyone and get direct feedback from the instructor. Monthly events will be organised into larger groups, instead, to give attendees the opportunity to network more broadly. 

Who are going to be the instructors for the business support programme?

The list of instructors is currently being finalised and it will be available at the beginning of February on the website. All instructors have substantial expertise in business training and coaching, especially with start-up and SMEs. Most of them have a proven record running companies or mentoring companies and all of them have a dynamic and interactive approach to teaching. 

What firms are eligible to join the programme?

To participate, your company needs to meet two requirements: (1) it needs to have between 0 and 9 employees; (2) it must have a business identification number (i.e. PAYE, VAT, UTR or company house registration number). 

What is the main purpose of the business support programme?

In addition to delivering business knowledge that is proven to enhance business performance, Strategy Insight Lab aims to further explore the business practices that are more conducive to improve firm performance and productivity.


Who has developed the training material?

The training material has been developed jointly by academics from Bocconi University, Cass Business School and Oxford University, who are international experts in the field of business and corporate strategy.

Is participation in the business support programme only open to founders and co-founders?

Each employee of the participating company is eligible to participate. 

What is the structure of each 3 hours session?

In each session, the instructor will deliver valuable tools that will support strategic and operational decision making in your company in many areas, from product launch to hiring, to operations and advertising.  Plenty of time in each session will be devoted to the discussion of small cases, to applying the ideas learned in class to the specific case of your company and to interactively discussing them, following participant-centered learning methodology.

Will I be asked to share confidentially information with the other members of my class?

No. Each participant will decide autonomously on the extent to which they wish to participate in the class discussion and whether they want to keep a more active or passive role. Each participant will decide which information he/she wants to share with the class. We encourage you NOT to share any confidential information, which is certainly something NOT required in order to participate and make the most out of the business programme.


Who is the funder of the project and what is the overall purpose of this programme?

This project is funded by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) within its Business Basics scheme. With this scheme, BEIS is investing £2million to help UK businessesto make better use of modern management practices, so that the UKcankeep at the forefront of new technologies and knowledge and the benefits they bring.BEIS estimates that this investment in UK businesses might lead to a £100 billion boost to the UK economy. Talking about the scheme, Small Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst said:  ”Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and as part of our modern Industrial Strategy, we are supporting them with new investments to boost their productivity and ensure they can continue to thrive in the future.”Dr Ian Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK, said: “Trying something new is a big step for any business, but true innovation enables firms grow. To solve the UK’s productivity puzzle, we need more firms to adopt new, but proven, technologies and novel ways of doing things so they can get ahead of the competition. That’s exactly what the Industrial Strategy, through the business basics scheme, is helping these projects to achieve.”

To achieve this goal, BEIS has partnered with Cass Business School at City, University of London, University of Oxford, and Bocconi University, international academic leaders in the field of business entrepreneurship and strategy, to design “Strategy Insight Lab”a programme that will be completely free of charge for participating UK firms. The purpose of the programme is to support UK firms by offering them qualified training and business support so that they are better prepared to face the challenges of running a business and they can pursue their ambitions of business success and growth.

Why do I need to provide data about my company to participate in the Strategy Insight Lab programme?

We are asking you to provide this data for two reasons. First, by having a better understanding of the attendees’ business background, we will be able to better tailor the content of the programme to your specific needsand provide a better learning experience. Second, BEIS and its academic partners (Cass Business School at City, University of London, University of Oxford, and Bocconi University) will use this data (exclusively in aggregated and anonymised form) to conduct some general research that will allow us to better understand how this programme will be helping participating firms to grow and achieve their business goals, so that we will be able to constantly improve this programme overtime and support even more firms. In commenting on the scheme, Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of innovation foundation Nesta, said: ”It is vitally important that we gather evidence about the effectiveness, or otherwise, of the billions of pounds that are spent by governments around the world, currently with not enough hard evidence about what works.

We understand that filling in the questionnaire requires some of your time, but this is what will enable us to provide you with a free, high-quality, programme, and we are hopeful that you will find the programme a good return for the time invested in providing us with this data. 


Why am I required to provide my business unique identification number(s)?

BEIS has asked us to collect the business identification numbers of participating firms to understand which firms have taken advantage the opportunity that they are funding.


My company is not registered, and I do not have a business identification number. Can I still join the programme?

Yes, BEIS has recently confirmed to us that we will be allowed to welcome in the programme both registered and non-registered companies, as the interactive sessions allow businesses at various levels of development to benefit from our training programme. Classes will ensure balance among participants and even early-stage firms will benefit from the content and interaction with our experienced mentors.
The questions in the online survey that refer to registration numbers are meant for companies that can provide such data, but do not prevent others from taking part in the programme. Companies that are not registeredcan indicate this in the survey by clicking on “I don’t have a unique business identification number”: for these companies providing their business name and postcode (in the relevant fields) will be sufficient.


How will the data be used and their security be protected?

All data collected in the context of this project will be used exclusively in anonymized and aggregate formfor academic research purposes and in the public interest. None of your data will be shared with other parties except the ones directly involved in the project (i.e. BEIS,Cass Business School at City, University of London, University of Oxford, and Bocconi University). Data will be encrypted and stored on our (restricted-access) IT infrastructure. The three academic institutions involved in this project adopt the highest research ethics standards for managing and protecting data, which is a core part of their regular activities. Their outstanding reputation in the research domain speaks for their commitment to ensure that data will only be used to gather general insights on the quality of the programme delivered for academic research purposes and in compliance with GDPR regulations and for no other purpose. We would be very happy to provide more detail on our research and the use of data, should you find it useful.