Kevan Bingham spent years on the shop floor at Mayflower Engineering before buying the business and becoming the boss in 2008.
His baptism of fire came just as the global recession hit, cutting the workforce from 100 to 50.
Since then the company has battled back. Kevan and senior managers, who all started on the shop floor, have had training through Business Sheffield, run by the council.
He has received a £15,000 threshold grant from the authority to pay for training and has attended a council-organised dinner where he met people from other sectors for the first time.
Today, the headcount is up to 72.
Mayflower, which is based in Darnall, makes machinery for companies such as Chesterfield Special Cylinders.
He said: “We were strapped for cash and struggling to get the spark back and the council said, ‘what would you like to do?
“The management team are now much better businessmen. The money will not pay for all our training but it has given us a kick start.
“I’ve been working for the same business for 30 years but I only really started to become a business manager in 2008.”