Business schools visit Number 10 to celebrate new role in supporting start-ups

Lord Young – the Government’s Adviser on Enterprise – today hosted a celebration ceremony to award 20 business schools the new Small Business Charter Award in recognition of their work to support start-ups and small businesses.

The Small Business Charter Award scheme has already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain’s exciting micro-business and start-up sector. Small Business Charter business schools have directly helped over 8000 small businesses – working with them through workshops, mentoring and other business support.  Over 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of Small Business Charter schools.

Although only in its first year, the Small Business Charter Award Scheme has attracted business schools from across the country – with participants from Edinburgh Napier to Southampton Solent – 14% of all business schools have joined in year one and the SBC has ambitious plans for further growth.

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 collectively offer on-site incubators with dedicated space for students and small businesses to start up and grow, a dedicated Small Business Growth & Leadership programme driving real impact and a strong full time support network of alumni and local business experts to support both students and small businesses.

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.

The Small Business Charter Award ceremony took place today (5th June 2014) at 10 Downing Street. The awards were presented by Lord Young, enterprise adviser to the Prime Minister and Sir Peter Bonfield, chair of The Small Business Charter Management Board and former chairman of BT.

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.

Congratulating the Small Business Charter award-winners for their trail-blazing work, Lord Young – an adviser to the Prime Minister on small business and enterprise, said:

“The recipients of today’s award have all demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving links with and supporting small businesses in their local area, already creating over 800 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.”

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, said:

“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.”

- See more at: https://smallbusinesscharter.org/news/business-schools-visit-number-10-to-celebrate-new-role-in-supporting-start-/#sthash.AMATf8Xb.dpuf