STRATHCLYDE University’s Growth Advantage Programme (GAP) has opened to applications from companies ready to take their business to the next level.

The nine-month programme allows SME owners to take a step back from the day-to-day running of their organisations to learn from their peers and leading scholars.

Previous participants have seen an average 19 per cent growth in employment and an uptick in sales of 22 per cent.

GAP, delivered by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at Strathclyde Business School, is structured around five intensive sessions including four two-day workshops covering the advantages successful growth companies are known to have.

Participants contribute £4500 each to the cost, with the rest provided by Santander.

Programme director John Anderson, the former chief executive of the Entrepreneurial Exchange, said: “The learning philosophy behind GAP is firmly built on research findings on entrepreneurial learning styles and combines the strengths of peer learning with world-class executive education. The sales and employment growth reported by previous participants demonstrates how effective it is.”