Twenty schools receive Small Business Charter Award

Lord Young – the Government’s Adviser on Enterprise – hosted a celebration ceremony at No.10 Downing Street to award 20 business schools the new Small Business Charter Award in recognition of their work to support start-ups and small businesses.

Business schools who received a Small Business Charter Award have already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain’s exciting micro-business and start-up sector.  They have directly helped over 8,000 small businesses – working with them through workshops, mentoring and other business support.  Over 800 new businesses have already been started by students of the business schools who have been celebrated by the Charter scheme.

Congratulating the Small Business Charter award-winners for their trail-blazing work, Lord Young commended the business schools for demonstrating “exceptional dedication to improving links with and supporting small businesses in their local area and creating jobs.

“Our world-class universities and business schools are a key part of the UK economy – even more so as a result of this initiative.

“I hope that these awards will be the first of many and build on the outstanding work our business schools do to boost enterprise locally.”
UK wide and open for entries

The Small Business Charter has attracted business schools from across the country, from Edinburgh Napier to Southampton Solent, in this first trailblazing phase. Applications are now open to all business schools who are actively engaging with small businesses and creating opportunities for their students.

The recipients of the award have all demonstrated exceptional dedication to helping improve links with and support the small business community in the local area.  Award-winning schools offer a range of support including on-site incubators with dedicated space for students and small businesses to start up and grow; dedicated growth and leadership programmes driving real impact; and strong full time support networks of alumni and local business experts to support both students and small businesses.

Forthcoming opportunities for Award-winners

The award also brings significant benefits for successful business schools.  They will have the ability to play an active role in schemes such as Growth Vouchers, Growth Accelerators and Start-Up Loans provided by the Government – meaning they can directly invest in new start-ups and entrepreneurs.

Awards ceremony at Downing Street

The Small Business Charter Award ceremony took place on 5th June 2014 at 10 Downing Street. The awards were presented by Lord Young and Sir Peter Bonfield, chair of The Small Business Charter Management Board and former chairman of BT.

Sir Peter Bonfield CBE FReng, Chair of the Small Business Charter Management Board, said:

“I am delighted to be involved with the Small Business Charter. This is an exciting initiative, which recognises the value of small businesses. We have a tremendous opportunity to nurture innovation and enterprise and support the next generation of great British entrepreneurs.”

Rekha Mehr, interim Managing Director, Small Business Charter, said:

“Micro-businesses make up 95% of UK businesses and play a crucial role in the structure of our economy. We need to further their growth and the Small Business Charter recognises UK business schools who are doing just that. Our accredited schools have made real impact in the last 18 months, directly supporting over 8,000 businesses, placing over 4,700 students on real business projects and helping students to start over 800 new businesses.”

Michael Hayman, Co-founder Seven Hills and StartUp Britain and member of the Small Business Charter Management Board, chaired the ceremony:

“The Small Business Charter unleashes the full potential of business schools as an asset for British enterprise. The schools celebrated today are set to become a nationwide network of entrepreneur-focused hubs for talent, creativity and ideas. The work underway and the work to come is about backing growth by realising new sources of skill and innovation. The schools are a national asset enhancing both the scale up potential of existing firms and supercharging the UK's energetic start up culture. Today is an important point of recognition for the twenty pioneering schools that are exemplars of academia providing an infrastructure for the growth of small business. It is a culture of collaboration that is set to be accelerated as the Charter becomes a hallmark of national enterprise excellence.”

Winning schools

Congratulations to all 20 business schools awarded with a Small Business Charter award:

• Aston University, Aston Business School
• Coventry University, Coventry Business School
• Edinburgh Napier Business School
• Kingston University, Kingston Business School
• Lancaster University Management School
• Loughborough University School of Business and Economics
• Manchester Metropolitan University Business
• Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School
• Southampton Solent University, Faculty of Business, Sport & Enterprise
• University College London, Department of Management Science and Innovation
• University of Birmingham, Birmingham Business School
• University of Leeds, Leeds University Business
• University of Leicester School of Management
• University of Liverpool Management School
• University of Northampton Business School
• University of Nottingham, Nottingham University Business School
• University of Salford, Salford Business School
• University of Strathclyde, Strathclyde Business School
• University of the West of England, Bristol Business School
• University of Wolverhampton Business School


About the Small Business Charter

The Small Business Charter originated following Lord Young’s report ‘Growing Your Business’, which was aimed at bringing business schools, business and entrepreneurs closer together to deliver real change. Supported by the Association of Business Schools, Lord Young and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills the Small Business Charter Awards offers a springboard to unlocking support and investment for students, start-ups and small businesses. The Charter also follows the Association of Business Schools’ Innovation Taskforce report.

The Small Business Charter Management Board has its own management board independent of the Association of Business Schools. It is responsible for decision-making regarding (a) the making of awards and; (b) the strategic direction of the Small Business Charter.
The Association of Business Schools representatives - Chair and Chief Executive - have no input into decisions regarding awards which ensures the independence and objectivity of the Board.  This is laid out in the governance arrangements as agreed with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.