Regional Liaison Network

Facilitating knowledge exchange between business schools and small businesses across the UK

rln

The Regional Liaison Network is comprised of representatives of Small Business Charter Award holding schools. Its purpose is to develop and host a series of workshops that facilitate knowledge exchange between SBC schools, and provide opportunities for business schools to connect with small businesses and other stakeholders.

Workshops hosted by the Regional Liaison Network are open to all members of the Chartered ABS and representatives of small businesses. Each event has a strong regional dimension and is designed to reflect the particular needs and areas of interest of local and regional business communities.

Click here to view upcoming events

Regional Network Members

Professor Carol Atkinston
Faculty Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange,
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Iain Reid
Deputy Director, Business Transformations Research Centre,
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Ian Roberts
Head of the Business School,
Kingston Business School

Jennie Shorley
Head of Bids and Partnerships,
Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Professor Jon Fairburn
Professor of Sustainable Development,
Staffordshire Business School

Mandy Parkinson
Head of Business and Public Engagement,
Manchester Metropolitan Business School

Martyn Kendrick
Head,
Derby Business School

Professor Matthew Sutherland
Associate Professor,
Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University

Dr Oliver Mallett
Associate Professor in Work and Employment,
Stirling Management School

Pat Smith
Small Business Manager,
University of Portsmouth Business School

Professor Ram Ramanathan
Director of Business and Management Research Institute,
Bedfordshire Business School

Dr Robert Wapshott
Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haydn Green Institute,
Nottingham University Business School

Siân Rees
Associate Dean and Director of Enterprise,
Cardiff School of Management

Professor Vish Maheshwari
Associate Dean
Staffordshire Business School

Alexandra Charles
College Head of Executive Education and Enterprise Development,
Derby Business School

Dr Cathy Minett
Associate Dean Learning Teaching and Student Experience
Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England

Dr Mohamed Saeudy
Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance,
Bedfordshire Business School

Professor Nigel Lockett
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship,
University of Strathclyde

Upcoming Events

Exploring how business schools can develop research collaborations with small businesses and the benefits that such collaborations can bring to both the university and the small business.

Click here to register for the event >

Co-hosted with the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, University of Derby

Exploring how business schools can use mKTPs to directly enhance business engagement, and cross-fertilise with business & management education and research.

Click here to view the programme and register

Exploring how business schools can set up and develop a successful Entrepreneurs in Residence programme and the benefits that this collaboration offers to EIRs, business schools and the wider university.

Click here to register for the event >

Co-hosted with Portsmouth Business School

Exploring how financial and entrepreneurship education can help SMEs to survive during the Covid-19 and beyond the pandemic.

Click here to register for the event >

Co-hosted with University of Bedfordshire, Business School.

Exploring the mutual value that can be derived from business schools working with ethnic minority businesses, and the practical challenges that need to be overcome if the relationship is to benefit the entrepreneur, the business school, the wider university and the broader business community.

Click here to register for the event.

Co-hosted with Centre for Research in Ethnic Minority Entrepreneurship (CREME) based in Aston Business School at Aston University.

Who can attend Network events?

Events hosted by the Regional Liaison Network are open to all members of the Chartered ABS and representatives of small businesses. Each event has a strong regional dimension and is designed to reflect the particular needs and areas of interest of local and regional business communities.

How much does it cost to attend?

In order to make Regional Liaison Network events practicable we charge a fee of £30 per person.

For each event we can offer a small number of complementary passes and these will normally be allocated to representatives of small businesses. If you would like to apply for a complementary pass please contact Meenal Datar meenal.datar@charteredabs.org.

Further information

Professor Carol Atkinston
Faculty Head of Research and Knowledge Exchange, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Carol has expertise in creating high quality employment based on her research interests which include: people management and employment in small and medium sized enterprises; job quality in adult social care; and gender, age and careers (particularly gender pay gaps and menopause in the workplace).

Iain Reid
Deputy Director, Business Transformations Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Iain’s strategic objective is to develop the research platform developing our PhD and Early Career Research (ECR) community, contribution and impact. Iain has also delivered a range of co-created executive education programmes at masters-level and facilitated workshops on knowledge transfer partnerships (KTPs). Iain collaborates with Swinburne University in Australia and the University of Baltimore in the US. Iain has also held faculty positions at Huddersfield Business School and the University of Liverpool’s Management School. Prior to joining academia, Iain worked in the engineering sector and has been published in peer review journals including the International Journal of Production Research, Production Planning and Control, Journal of Knowledge Management.

Jennie Shorley
Head of Bids and Partnerships, Manchester Metropolitan University Business School

Jennie develops innovative research and knowledge exchange projects, supporting staff to create and fund innovation in research and enterprise. She is a Board Member and Director of Praxis Auril, as well as being the Volunteer of the Year in 2020 for her work in professional development in Knowledge Exchange. She runs Get That Grant, a programme which takes academics from idea to research bid, with success in funds such as the Leverhulme Trust, and Research Funding Sandpits for researchers. Jennie is the lead academic for our suite of Accreditations - the Business School has recently become Triple Crown Accredited and engages with other accreditations in order to support and promote excellence and continuous improvement. Jennie manages the ESRC funded Good Employment Learning Lab – investigating what works in terms of good employment in a practical project. She recently led the School's successful Business School Impact System (BSIS) assessment, and is working to embed impact principles and activities across the Faculty. She developed MMU’s successful initial Small Business Charter application in 2014. Prior to her current role she was Deputy Director of the Centre for Enterprise, a 30 strong multi-disciplinary centre working to develop small firms' growth and innovation potential. Jennie has won over £10m of funding from the ESRC, AHRC, EPSRC, ERDF, Erasmus+ and others, including the £4m Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre with the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Ian Roberts
Head of the Business School,
Kingston Business School

Ian has a distinctive background as a senior leader in Higher Education with a track record in leadership development, building businesses, organisational development, organisational psychology and executive coaching. The thread that binds Ian’s career together is supporting people through personal transition and career progression. Having coached over a 150 professionals and leaders, Ian is inspired by seeing people flourish.

Ian has worked extensively across a wide range of private sector organisations, including ANZ Banking Group; Virgin Media; Yahoo UK; Technicolor; B&Q; Premier Foods; Vodafone; American Express; Tesco, and Centrica. He has worked with charities such as Cancer Research UK and bodies such as the former Financial Services Authority. Ian has worked across the public sector in local and national Government, Health and Social Care sector and Higher Education, and was a Senior Civil Service coach. Ian’s particular specialisms include working with leaders within the creative and media, and Higher Education sectors; maverick leaders, and senior female leaders.

Ian has been the Dean of three UK university Business Schools, leading them through periods of transformational change and growth. He has worked with investors, operators and academic partners to set-up Real-World Learning Campuses in the US and UK, and worked across the world in both trans-national education and commerce. He is the co-founder of a new type of strategy and leadership development consultancy for the creative, digital and media sector (www.towardspeople.co.uk).

Professor Jon Fairburn
Professor of Sustainable Development, Staffordshire Business School

Jon has lead many business projects including for the EU providing remote assistant to businesses. He is currently the programme director for the Small Business Leadership Programme for Staffordshire University and also teaches on the MSc in Digital Marketing Management. His main area of research is inequalities and Jon is involved in creating the Index of Multiple Deprivation. @profjonfairburn, jon.fairburn@staffs.ac.uk

Mandy Parkinson
Head of Business and Public Engagement, Manchester Metropolitan Business School

Mandy is Head of Business and Public Engagement, HEA Fellow and Doctorial Researcher and joined Manchester Metropolitan Business School in 2016. Mandy is Programme Director of the Made Smart Leadership and Management programme, Principle Investigator (PI) for Eco-I NW, Smart Cheshire Innovation, GM High Growth, and Co-Investigator on GM AI Foundry, GM Cyber Foundry and PrintCity Network.

Mandy has extensive teaching and learning experience, in the education sector, which has included teaching at a variety of HEIs from Postgraduate programmes on International Business, Strategy, Operational Sustainability, Responsible Enterprise to professional programmes on strategy, enterprise , business start-up and marketing. She has also led a variety of teams to engage with and facilitate relationships between education and business. Fostering strategic partnerships external to the institutions, which support and promote the development of commercial income streams.

In addition, she led the design and delivery of the ERASMUS+ DiTEM project delivering digital technology transformation to micro businesses across Europe. Mandy is currently undertaking her PhD in the impact on productivity of Digital Technology adoption within Micro-businesses.

Martyn Kendrick
Head, Derby Business School

Martyn is also the Deputy Dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Science at the University of Derby and a Visiting Professor in International Management at Sunwah International Business School, Liaoning University, Shenyang, China, and have extensive experience of transnational education.
Martyn's professional and research interests include Management, Leadership, Strategy, Risk and Corporate Social Responsibility. Martyn has worked with a wide range of corporate clients to deliver professional development and postgraduate education in these areas.

Professor Matthew Sutherland
Associate Professor, Newcastle Business School, Northumbria University

Matt leads the Knowledge Exchange group in the Business and Law Faculty. Matt is actively involved in The Small Business Charter, he is a trained assessor and sits on the Management Board. He is involved in all aspects of Knowledge Exchange and worked with over 200 SMEs in the North East of England as well as completing national piece of work with larger MNC. Outside of work Matt is a school governor, he sits on several boards, and is a chair of a North-East based charity.

Dr Oliver Mallett
Associate Professor in Work and Employment, Stirling Management School

Oliver's research and teaching focuses on a sociological approach to entrepreneurship. This activity has produced a book on managing people in small and entrepreneurial businesses. Oliver has worked with government, business and voluntary organisations. He is currently involved in a large-scale project researching the experience and impacts of home-based working during the COVID19 pandemic.

Pat Smith
Small Business Manager, University of Portsmouth Business School

Working with colleagues across the University, Pat engages with businesses based in the Solent Region, looking for ways to support them and our students. Since starting this role in 2016, Pat has devised and introduced Entrepreneurs in Residence Programme, as well as developed two annual events, one of which is in collaboration with Solent University and Hampshire Chamber of Commerce.  Pat is passionate about partnerships, making things happen and providing business people with a trusted point of contact.

Professor Ram Ramanathan
Director of Business and Management Research Institute
University of Bedfordshire, Business School

In the past, Ram has worked and taught in a number of countries, including the UK, Finland, the Netherlands, Oman and India. Ram has successfully completed more than 30 research projects across the world. His current research projects as Principal Investigator include: (i) the REAMIT project (www.reamit.eu) funded by the Interreg North West Europe aimed at reducing food waste in the agribusiness supply chain (nearly 5 million Euro) and (ii) the TAF project (www.thetafproject.com) funded by the Newton Fund for improving productivity of artisanal fishing in Brazil (nearly £100,000). In addition, Ram is on the editorial boards of several journals and in the technical/advisory committees of several international conferences in his field. He was a member of ESRC Peer Review College in the UK and has reviewed applications submitted to various funding bodies. He has produced six books, more than 135 research publications in journals and more than 175 conference presentations. His research articles have appeared in many prestigious internationally refereed journals.

Dr Robert Wapshott
Associate Professor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haydn Green Institute
Nottingham University Business School

Robert’s research interests focus on management practices in small businesses, especially as these businesses grow. He also writes about regulation and government policies affecting SMEs. A Senior Fellow of the HEA, Robert teaches courses for undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as supervising PhD researchers. As part of the wider academic community, Robert is an editor for the International Small Business Journal and a regular reviewer for leading journals. Away from work, Robert is a school governor and a keen runner.

Siân Rees
Associate Dean and Director of Enterprise
Cardiff School of Management

The focus of Siân's work is to develop further Cardiff Metropolitan’s reputation for enterprise and innovation, executive education, work-based learning, employability and leading edge research. She led the university in its achievement of the Small Business Charter award. Siân is responsible for the school’s external engagement, the development of detailed strategies for income generation through innovation in the curriculum, based on employer needs.

Siân also conducts consultancy in the areas of leadership development, evaluation and appraisal and change management; she delivers these modules on the Cardiff Met Executive MBA.

Siân, who is originally from Merthyr Tydfil, is an experienced academic leader, previously Head of Newport Business School and Associate Head of the School of Business at University of South Wales. Prior to entering HE, she gained wide-ranging experience over more than 25 years in industry, performing key education and training, human resource and IT management roles for a number of international companies, mainly in the IT and financial services sectors. She has held senior technical and management roles at UK and European levels for a variety of international IT companies, most latterly, Oracle.

Sian is a Vice President of Cardiff Business Club, a trustee of GirlGuiding Cymru, the founder of Women in Management in South East Wales (now GRŴP) and formerly the HE Ambassador for the Institute of Directors in South and West Wales and a Trustee of United World College of Southern Africa. Sian is a UK board member of the Chartered Association of Business Schools Small Business Charter Board and has also recently been appointed to the Education and Pastoral Committee of the United World College of the Atlantic.

She gained her first degree from Southampton University, her MBA from Cass Business School with Distinction, and also studied at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government as the recipient of a Welsh Government award. Siân is currently working towards her doctorate award, researching the development of the ‘entrepreneurial university’.

Professor Vish Maheshwari
Associate Dean
Staffordshire Business School, Staffordshire University

As Associate Dean, I am responsible for key strategic priorities for Staffordshire Business School managing continuous enhancement of student experience through experiential learning and digital transformation, driving digital capabilities and innovation, quality enhancement of curriculum and building enterprise and employability opportunities for students. I work with local and regional stakeholders including businesses, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, Local Enterprise Partnership and SU’s Employment Partnership team to enhance the opportunities and support we can provide to our students to achieve their ambitions and helping local businesses adapt to technological change and develop higher level skills

In my previous roles, I have held several academic leadership roles such as Head of Department, Director of Postgraduate programmes, MBA Programme Director and Senior Lecturer at various UK HE institutions. I am Fellow of Chartered institute of Marketing and Chartered Management Institute and a Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (AdvanceHE). I am published in the areas of brand management, place and country branding and digital marketing. I am a Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil and Co-founding Chair for Place Marketing and Branding research group at the Academy of Marketing.

Alexandra Charles
College Head of Executive Education and Enterprise Development
College of Business, Law and Social Sciences
University of Derby

Alexandra is an experienced academic, programme director, and project manager; her areas of expertise include strategic management accounting, financial decision making and global supply chain management. Having joined the University of Derby in 2016, Alexandra is responsible for driving meaningful and impactful knowledge exchange activities through executive education and enterprise development, both within the College but also the wider University. She leads the College apprenticeship agenda, and several ESIF and BEIS funded project teams. Activities such as these epitomise the vital role the University plays in influencing business growth and advancing individual skills. Whilst productivity and efficiency are key aspects of the portfolio which Alexandra oversees, so too is sustainability and resilience. The portfolio is aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and the UN’s supported initiative, Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Dr Cathy Minett
Associate Dean
Learning Teaching and Student Experience
Faculty of Business and Law, The University of the West of England

Cathy has extensive experience of strategy development and implementation at both an institutional and faculty level, is a Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academic and a National Teaching Fellow reviewer. Cathy is a member of the CABS Learning, Teaching and Student Experience committee, is a regular speaker on the CABS Leaders in Learning and Teaching development programme and was a member of the CMBE development group. She has led on embedded employability strategies at both an institutional and faculty level, developing mutually beneficial partner relationships with local SMEs.

Dr Mohamed Saeudy
Senior Lecturer in Accounting and Finance
Director of Research Centre for Contemporary Accounting, Finance and Economics
Bedfordshire Business School

Mohamed's research area is sustainable accounting and finance. He helps designed many postgraduate courses to develop accounting and finance tools to manage the contemporary challenges of sustainable development such as big data, data analytics, climate change, modern slavery, UN SDGs, human rights and ecological biodiversity. He develops social media tools e.g. blogs to explore how business organisations could make business opportunities and profit from considering social and environmental activities. He also developed innovative academic courses on DBA, Green Accounting, Sustainable Finance and Financial Entrepreneurship. These courses covered many contemporary topics ranging from corporate governance to sustainable business strategies and policies. In addition, Dr Saeudy provides professional consultancies for many business organisations in the UK and overseas in the field of sustainable business solutions, entrepreneurial finance, green finance, risk management and virtual business innovation.

Professor Nigel Lockett
Professor of Entrepreneurship and Head of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship
The University of Strathclyde

Nigel is a senior academic, experienced manager, serial entrepreneur and community leader. Before joining Strathclyde Business School, he previously worked as a Professor at Lancaster University Management School and Leeds University Business School. In 2015, Nigel was awarded a prestigious National Teaching Fellowship for outstanding contribution to enterprise in higher education. He is a Fellow and Past President of the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship and Past Member of Small Business Charter’s Management Board

How do I register my interest to join the Regional Liaison Network?

There will be another call for volunteers in the early part of 2021.
If you would like to be informed when the call opens please contact Meenal Datar (meenal.datar@charteredabs.org) or Oliver Lowe (oliver.lowe@charteredabs.org)

As a member of this network what will I be asked to do?

We are asking members of the Regional Liaison Network to:

  • Volunteer to chair and speak at online events
  • Volunteer to host face-to-face events when they recommence
  • Help develop programmes for events that are relevant to your local and regional communities
  • Help promote events to other business schools and small businesses in your region

Can there be just one member of the Regional Liaison Network in each SBC school?

No, there is no restriction on the number of Network members in each SBC school. However, a key requirement is that members of the Network will take an active role in the development of regional SBC events.

If you have any questions about the Regional Liaison Network please contact

Meenal Datar, SBC Manager, meenal.datar@charteredabs.org

Oliver Lowe, Head of Conferences and International, oliver.lowe@charteredabs.org