Changes to the Small Business Charter

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Over the past couple of months deans from SBC awarding holding schools were invited to discuss their thoughts and gain input into the future direction of the Small Business Charter. These discussions built on and fed into proposals under review by the Management Board, and we are now in a position to feedback the results to you and outline the changes we have agreed to make.

Following those conversations and the enthusiasm from those who took part, we are excited about the future. In the absence of government funding for national programmes there was an overriding consensus that the purpose of the SBC should be to recognise and encourage business school support for SMEs. Our conclusions are that the value of the SBC will stem from the kite mark and the bringing together of a community. We are, therefore, introducing some changes to the Small Business Charter to support this renewed emphasis on the kite mark and the network building.

Kite mark

From 1 June 2016 the Gold, Silver and Bronze award categories will cease to exist and there will only be one award. From that date awards will be given for three or five years, determined by how many of the assessment dimensions have been awarded. Please note, the assessment dimensions will not change. Schools achieving seven or more dimensions in each of the three key areas will secure the award for five years. All dimensions will carry equal weighting. As there will only be one award there will only be one fee level.
In addition to the award, and in order to enable identification of excellence in certain aspects within particular schools, up to three “specialists in” may be identified for each school. These may be an entire key area, one or more of the specific dimensions, or something else where the school feels it excels. Schools will be asked in their application to suggest up to three areas where they feel they excel in comparison to other schools in the UK.

For more information on the kite mark and fees please contact Meenal Datar.

Creating a community

We were greatly encouraged by the response to the recent workshop in Lancaster in April and it is clear that there is an appetite to do more knowledge sharing and community building. Initial ways in which we will seek to build that community are:

1. Website and app
a. Aim to become a trusted and useful place for information for business schools and SMEs.
b. The website will become much more active with articles from schools and other associated agencies about success stories
c. Schools will be invited to send in a three minute video about their school’s offer for SMEs
d. Each institution will be invited to send in more detail to be put on the website to inform SMEs what they have to offer. In time we plan for these to be searchable
e. “Specialists in” will appear on the SBC website and in time will also be searchable
f. We will form web links with LEPs, Scottish Enterprise, etc.
g. In time we will seek out sponsorship for an app where business advice from our schools will be made available for SMEs and others

2. Workshops
a. We will run a number of themed and general workshops throughout the UK for business school award holders and those in the application process
b. We will explore setting up regional networking groups

3. Research
a. We will conduct research that will inform and promote what works and highlight best practice

4. Lobbying/ advocacy
a. We will continue to engage with governments across the UK to inform and partner, where appropriate
b. We will strengthen relationships with agencies such as LEPs, Growth Hubs, Chambers of Commerce

These are our initial plans and we are sure there will be more we will be able to do. We hope this focus on the SBC kite mark and building a supportive network is as exciting for you as it is for us. If you have any questions at all please contact Meenal Datar.

Contact Details:
Meenal Datar Meenal.datar@charteredabs.org