Recognising and celebrating exceptional achievements by SBC accredited business schools

Deadline for nominations: Tuesday 28 February 

The Small Business Charter Excellence Awards are the opportunity for business schools that hold the SBC accreditation to showcase specialist activity that delivers sustainable impact and legacy.

The Small Business Charter demonstrates the commitment of Business Schools’ throughout the UK in supporting, championing and connecting small businesses to our academic communities, influential business networks and our students and graduates. The SBC Excellence Awards similarly raise the profile of Business School’s offering real influence, partnership and impact in the categories aligned to the SBC assessment.

The SBC Excellence Awards are open to any school holding the SBC accreditation both at the time of application and at the date the awards are presented in June 2023.

A panel of judges, comprising of business schools’ leaders, SME business leaders, and other SME experts will be appointed to vote on winners for each of the three categories. The winners will be announced at the Small Business Charter Summer Reception taking place on 22 June at the House of Lords.


The SBC Excellence Awards are split into three categories, aligned to the SBC assessment categories:

This award will recognise the most innovative and impactful initiative provided to support small business growth, during 2021/2022.

It is open to SBC accredited schools who develop and provide small business support activity to nurture start-ups and enhance SME growth, through dedicated, collaborative and impactful activities.

Judges will look for evidence of:

  • Significant impact at local, national, and / or international level;
  • Initiatives that go beyond simple growth programmes, and create collaborative environments resulting in sustained growth and enhanced performance;
  • Holistic innovative approaches to forge networks, relationships, exchange knowledge and developing practice.

Further guidance:

  • How is this activity innovative, and what evidence can be provided to support this?
  • How has this activity achieved significant impact, locally, nationally, and / or internationally? How is this impact evaluated? (Impact – effects on society and the economy; indicators – the signs of change evidencing the level of impact)
  • Explain how this activity creates collaborative environments; and the how the benefits of this are evidenced / evaluated?
  • Provide details of the sustained growth and enhanced performance that has been achieved?

This award will recognise outstanding engagement with other stakeholders in the growth agenda, during 2021/2022.

It is open to SBC accredited schools who undertake wider engagement with internal and external stakeholders in the promotion of small business growth.

Judges will look for evidence of:

  • Significant impactful wider engagement translating into tangible benefits for all stakeholders;
  • Outstanding collaborative activities promoting the co-creation of knowledge and / or the development of practice;
  • Significant expertise, activity and impact in improving quality, reach and scale, through stakeholder engagement.

Further guidance:

  • Explain the nature of the far-reaching stakeholder engagement, and evidence why this may be deemed outstanding?
  • What indicators are used to evidence the impact of this engagement?
  • What are the tangible benefits realised for stakeholders, and evidence why this impact is significant?

This award recognises outstanding and innovative approaches to developing and delivering student enterprise and entrepreneurship, during 2021/2022.

It is open to SBC accredited schools who display considerable impact by encouraging student enterprise and entrepreneurship through both life-long learning and culture.

Judges will look for evidence of:

  • Significant outcomes and impact as a consequence of embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship into student culture;
  • Significant outcomes and impact through the provision of lifelong learning activity;
  • Enterprising and entrepreneurial mindset and behaviours that support sustained commitment from all.

Further guidance:

  • How is this activity innovative, and what evidence can be provided to support this?
  • What significant outcomes and impact have been achieved as a consequence of embedding enterprise and entrepreneurship into student culture?
  • What significant outcomes and impact have been achieved through the provision of LLL activity?
  • How has this approach, to both culture and lifelong learning, positively contributed to widening participation and EDI? Evidence the impact achieved.
  • Evidence of sustained commitment to this agenda, and how this has led to achieving significant impact?

Submit your entry 


How much does it cost to enter the awards?

Entry to the awards is free.

What period do these awards relate to?

The judges will be looking for outstanding examples of best practice during the academic year 2021/2022. We will accept submissions based on activity that commenced prior to the academic year 2021/2022, provided the main achievements have taken place during this period. Evidence that arises since this academic year may also be used to showcase the success of the activity.

Can we enter more than one category?

You may enter more than one category, but you must complete a separate submission for each entry.

Can we enter the same submission in more than one category?

No, you must decide which category is most appropriate for each submission.

Can an institution enter more than one project / team in a single category?

No, each School / Institution may enter a maximum of one per category.

How will I know that my submission has been received?

Once you have submitted your entry, you will receive an email confirming your institution name, your school name, the primary contact, and the category you have entered. If you do not receive your confirmation email, please contact

Who can enter?

The Excellence Awards are open to any institution / school holding the award of SBC during the academic year 2021/2022.

Can there be joint nominations between Business Schools working together?


When does the website open for entries?

The morning of Monday the 16th January 2023.

When will I find out if we have been shortlisted?

Shortlists will be published on this website, on Monday the 3rd April 2023. An email confirmation will also be sent directly to the primary contact for each successful submission.

How are the entries judged?

Entries will be judged according to the entry criteria.

Can I get feedback on my entry?

As much as we would like to offer feedback on individual submissions, owing to the anticipated volume of entries, this will unfortunately not be feasible.

When and where are the winners announced?

The winners will be announced at the CABS Small Business Charter Summer Reception, to be held in June 2023, specific details to be confirmed.

What is the programme for the Summer Reception?

To be confirmed.

Who should I contact if my question has not been answered above?

If you have any queries relating to either the Awards or the Summer Reception, or any other general enquiries, please contact

How will the Award winners be promoted?

To be confirmed.

What is the closing date for entries?

Tuesday the 28th February 2023 at 23:59.