Carol Deveney

Carol Deveney: See Change International

Triple-accredited Strathclyde Business School in Glasgow has been delivering Help to Grow: Management since September 2021. So far, 160 companies have graduated from this 12-week part-time course at the University. Announced in the 2021 Budget, the programme offers practical management training delivered by world-class business schools across the UK. Aimed at leaders and senior decision-makers of SMEs to boost performance, resilience, and long-term growth, the high-quality curriculum offers the opportunity to build capabilities in leadership, innovation, digital adoption, employee engagement, marketing, responsible business, and financial management. By the end of the course, participants have developed a business growth plan, created connections, and widened their networks.

Carol Deveney is founder and CEO of See Change International, a global consulting firm which, following recent expansion, now operates in eight countries over three continents. The business provides services to projects and public transport companies, and Carol has built the business from the ground up using her years of experience in senior executive roles – as vice president and national head of sponsorship – in organisations in the UK and internationally, with accountability for investments in the multi-billions.

As someone who has always embraced change, Carol enjoys helping others navigate through shifts and projects by guiding them towards positive outcomes. Whether that be helping small businesses, building mega projects, training sponsors, or helping organisations embed and improve their sponsorship capability, change is Carol’s comfort zone.

However, despite having confidence in her business acumen, Carol still felt there was room for growth within the company and Help to Grow: Management proved an attractive prospect. “I applied for Help to Grow because my business was in a significant period of growth, and I knew that can be a high-risk time for a business so I wanted the support, advice and guidance that a course like this could offer.

“I hoped I would gain a structured way to consider my business growth and time to plan how to consolidate the growth in a sustainable way. My academic background is in business so it was also a way to take that knowledge deeper and learn about any new tools or recent research that would be useful.”

Help to Grow has had a profound impact on Carol’s company since she completed the programme. “The course created the space for me to define the vision of my business for the next three to five years in a lot more detail, and to consider our digitisation and international expansion in way that feels measured, achievable and retains the high ambition we have for the future.”

One of the most appealing parts of the course for Carol was the peer group element, and she found the opportunity to spend twelve weeks alongside other business owners on a similar journey vital. “Supported peer group work is the most advantageous action a small business can take and Help to Grow really provides for that in a topic driven way. The way it creates an environment where you are with other businesspeople who are normalising the growth and risk of a small business is so valuable. Plus, you get eighteen brains trying to solve your problem rather than one!”

The timing of Help to Grow fitted well with the real-life international expansion of Carol’s business: “The best part of the course for me was the focus on internationalisation, as that is our key growth area at the moment. We moved from running a project to considering the feasibility of setting up a company in Canada to actually doing it, and all of this took place during the course, and that has been such great timing.”

Aside from its impact on the company, the course also had a real effect on Carol herself. “The programme showed me that I can take more time out of my business to work on my business than I had been doing. It was a fantastic support during a period of high growth and transition. To be able to talk about that to the team and to the cohort was brilliant.

“I thought finding the time would be a challenge, but it really wasn’t because as soon as I could see the value of the course, it became unmissable! I would recommend the course to any small business that is thinking about growing, even if that just means growing your success by getting better at doing what you already do.”

Help to Grow is delivered over 12 half days at Strathclyde Business School at a heavily subsidised cost of £750, for a business leader whose company meets the criteria of having 5 or more employees and has been established for more than 1 year. Two places are available for organisations with 10 or more employees. The third year of the programme at Strathclyde begins in August 2023, with a number of cohorts planned throughout the year. Feedback has been incredible and places are competitive, therefore if you are interested in growing your business, express your interest in Help to Grow at Strathclyde Business School here, or contact for more information.