Management Board and Executive Group to take forward business school Charter

A team of experts are set to develop a charter to help incentivise business schools to help small firms to grow.

A management board overseen by former BT Chief Executive Sir Peter Bonfield CBE, and made up of Deans of  business schools, business representatives and leading academics, was announced by Universities and Science Minister, David Willetts and the Prime Minister’s Enterprise Advisor, Lord Young. In his recent report on barriers to growth faced by small firms, Lord Young recommended business schools work closely with small businesses, acting as anchor institutions in the local economy. The work will be overseen by the  Association of Business Schools (ABS) assisted by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills.

Enterprise Advisor Lord Young said:

“Business schools have the ability to provide a solid support structure for local small and medium sized businesses, and opportunities for students to get into the world of work and get hands on experience of running a business.

“Bringing in the expertise of Sir Peter will ensure this important partnership work brings broad reaching benefits to everyone involved.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: 

"I want to see business schools providing small firm growth programmes and advice clinics for small business because it will enable them to grow and strengthen our economy. Allowing business school graduates to take up placements in small companies as part of their course will give them invaluable experience that will prepare them for the world of work. 

“The Small Business Charter will help turn this vision into a reality and help our young graduates gain the skills they need to launch successful careers for themselves.”

The Board will be assisted by an Executive Group who will take forward the day to day work of developing and managing the successful roll out of the scheme.  The Executive Group will be chaired by Mark Hart, Professor Aston Business School and will comprise representatives from the Association of Business Schools, Higher Education Funding Council, the Institute of Directors, the UK Research Councils, the Technology Strategy Board, UKTI, National Centre for Universities and Business and BIS. 

Sir Andrew Witty strongly endorses this initiative.  In the preliminary findings of his ‘Independent Review of Universities and Growth’  he stated:  "Lord Young’s finding chimes with what I have heard during meetings with stakeholders, where I heard examples of university business schools having a transformative effect on SMEs through practical advice and support on running and developing the business. "

Prof. Angus Laing (Dean of Business and Economics, Loughborough University and Chair of ABS) says:

“It is fantastic that the ABS is involved in this vital project to help support the growth of SMEs given the significance of this sector to the British economy. The proposal connects directly the work of the ABS Innovation Taskforce which reported earlier this year and identified key ways in which business schools could more effectively support business development and growth.  With over 130 members the ABS has a pivotal role to play in being the lynch pin between academia and business. Business schools have a vital role in providing advice and support for growing businesses and helping them to succeed.”

The full list of members of the Management Board and Executive Group and their terms of reference are set out below.


In June the Government reaffirmed its commitment to help small and medium sized businesses succeed.  They will launch a strategy in the autumn on what further support Government will provide to create a positive environment for businesses to start up and grow.                                                                                    

Management Board:

Sir Peter Bonfield CBE (Chair)
Michael Hayman (Seven Hills Group)
Angus Laing (Dean of Business and Economics, Loughborough University & Chair of ABS)
Paul Marshall (Chief Executive, Association of Business Schools)
Andrew Likierman, (Dean of London Business School
Martin Binks (Dean of Nottingham Business School)
Simon Collinson (Dean of Birmingham Business School)
Jerry Forester (Dean of Hertfordshire Business School)
Sue Cox OBE (Dean of Lancaster Business School)
Mark Hart (Professor, Aston Business School and Deputy Director, Enterprise Research Centre)
Susan Hart (Dean of Strathclyde Business School)
Rob Blackburn (Kingston Business School & member of REF Enterprise Panel)
Nigel Lockett (Leeds Business School & Head of Enterprise Centre)
Jim Hall (Said Business School & Head of Enterprise Centre)
Julie Holland (Loughborough Business School & Head of Gledonbrook Centre for Enterprise Education)
Stuart Miller (CEO, Bybox)
John Glynn (Dean of Sydney Business School)
Graeme Radcliffe (CEO, Petscreen)
Rajeeb Dey


Executive Group:

Professor Mark Hart (Deputy Director, Enterprise Research Centre, Aston University) Chair
Alice Frost (UK Funding Councils)
Alexander Ehmann (IoD)
Adrian Alsop (UK Research Councils)
Mark Glover (Technology Strategy Board)
Peter Hogarth (UKTI)
David Docherty (NCUB)
Paul Marshall (Association of Business Schools)
Paul Lewis (Lord Young Secretariat)
Robert Beattie (BIS)

Terms of Reference

The Board will:

• Input to and agree the principles of a Charter;
• Devise accreditation criteria and KPIs for an accompanying Award Scheme including the people and delivery method required for administering the scheme;
• Oversee the development and roll out of a communication strategy in order to build effective relationships with business schools and maximise sign-up to the Charter – e.g. website development, branding, regional road shows, and promotional literature including good practice case studies;
• Advise on the role of business school award holders in the delivery and referral to Start-Up Loans, Growth Vouchers and other elements of SME support;
• Devise a sustainability plan for the Charter and Award Scheme and its funding requirements, for instance through including subscription, sponsorship and corporate engagement;
• Oversee the award process and the ongoing development of the charter and award scheme;
• Liaise with relevant public and private stakeholders to ensure the uptake of the charter and award scheme and any recommendations arising from the experience of running the charter and awards;
• Sign off all key decision affecting the Charter and Awards and arrangements for taking the programme forward.