How to Apply for a Charter Award

To achieve the award business schools must undergo an assessment of their ability to:

Actively support the growth of small firms

Actively engage with other stakeholders in the growth agenda

Provide students with relevant start-up support

To apply for the award, business schools must follow these steps:

  • Make an enquiry by contacting the SBC Manager
  • Familiarise yourself with the criteria
  • Collate evidence to support your application
  • An assessment date will be agreed 3-4 months in advance
  • Submit application (3 weeks before the assessment date)
  • Assessment takes place at the school
  • Decision and feedback
  • Award is achieved by successful applicants

Virtual Assessments for the Small Business Charter Award

The Small Business Charter are conducting Virtual Assessments until we are able to resume in-person assessments on campus.

Is your business school applying for the first time?

Is your business school already an award holder applying for re-assessment?

Assessment criteria

The SBC award requires a broad demonstration of activity in the above three key areas. There are 31 dimensions for the award and with 11 dimensions in section A, and 10 dimensions each in section B and section C.

All dimensions carry equal weighting. To achieve the Small Business Charter award, business schools need to meet a minimum of 12 dimensions with evidence from all three categories.

Business schools must be members of the Chartered Association of Business Schools in order to apply for the award. Find out more about membership and how to join here.

Application enquiries and support

We are here to give you support throughout the application process and after you receive your award.

Please contact us at:


Tel: +44 (0) 20 7634 9588.

See ‘The award’ section to learn more about its benefits.

 More about the Award

5 year award

Schools that meet seven or more dimensions in each of the three key areas will secure the award for five years.

3 year award

Schools that achieve a total of at least 12 dimensions with at least one from each of the key areas will secure the award for three years


Certain business schools have particular specialisms that can be considered areas of expertise. We refer to these as ‘exemplars’. Please note that although this is not a mandatory part of the application process, it can help business schools to promote the specialist areas recognised by the Small Business Charter.


The application fees are £5000. Once the school is awarded the Small Business Charter, there is an annual fee of £6000 to maintain the award.

Have a question?

Check out our FAQs to find answers to common questions about the Small Business Charter award.