Innovation Leadership Programme

The fully-funded Innovation Leadership programme at Keele University supports aspirational business leaders and early-stage entrepreneurs to develop the skills, knowledge and attributes to take their business to the next level. 

Applications now open 

Commencing May 2021

MCIL programme core offers

Recalibrate for a new normal

Delivered by a dedicated team of expert business leaders, academics and Entrepreneurs in Residence, the programme is fully-funded and exclusively open to small-to-medium sized businesses in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

  • Zero cost to your business - Fully-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the only cost to your business is your time.
  • Six two-day sessions – Working around you, the programme consists of 12 sessions across a six-month period.
  • Exclusively online – Our programme is currently being delivered via an online platform which provides access to digital materials and lecture, break out and one-to-one meetings.

Apply today

MCIL programme features

Programme features

Gain access to:

  • Coaching, advice and guidance
  • A unique blend of action learning - including one-to-one sessions, peer review, activity-based learning, creative challenge-based activity and self-directed learning
  • Innovation-focussed action plan development for your business
  • Access to the latest thinking around innovation and social value, dedicated masterclasses and a unique innovation eco-system

Apply today

Benefits to your business

  • Dedicated time to focus on innovation and R&D as a strategic driver for your business growth
  • Topics include; innovation and creativity, diversification, marketing, business development, funding and team dynamics.
  • Apply world-leading research and knowledge on innovation leadership in order to produce a positive impact on your business’s bottom line
  • Access to the wide scientific and technological infrastructure of Keele University
  • Be part of a unique innovation network
  • Learn from fellow hand-picked entrepreneurs and social innovators


Further Information

Applications now open, apply here

Cohort 4 will take place from May 2021 - September 2021

Session 1 - Creating the Conditions for Innovation to Flourish

  • 6 May 2021
  • 7 May 2021

Session 2 - Innovation and Creativity

  • 3 June 2021
  • 4 June 2021

Session 3 - Marketing and Sales for Success 

  • 24 June 2021
  • 25 June 2021

Session 4 - Getting Comfortable with Leadership 

  • 15 July 2021
  • 16 July 2021

Session 5 - Funding your Ambition

  • 19 August 2021
  • 20 August 2021 

Session 6 - Creating an A-team

  • 9 September 2021
  • 10 September 2021

The programme is open to small- to medium-sized businesses, early-stage and aspiring entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial social innovators. These individuals must be looking to develop products and services, achieve scalable routes to market and achieve strategic business growth. Applicants must be an owner, director or employee of a registered business in the Stoke-on-Trent or Staffordshire area.

The only cost to participate is your time and the programme is fully-funded until 2023.

Take the first step

 Please fill in this form and one of our team will be in touch soon


ERDF landscape logo

‌The Mercia Centre for Innovation Leadership programme is delivered through the Keele University Science & Innovation Park Smart Innovation Hub (Ref: 32R17P01691). This programme is part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the England Structural and Investments Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme.