Cranfield School of Management awarded Small Business Charter

Cranfield School of Management has been accredited with the Small Business Charter Award in recognition of its commitment to student entrepreneurship, supporting small businesses, and the local economy.

The school has demonstrated its expertise in nurturing SME growth in the region through a range of programmes including the Business Growth Programme, P2P Peer Networks, Ready for Net Zero, and Ready for Scale, all of which were well attended by small business leaders.

Cranfield also provides several areas for innovation and start up. The panel were particularly impressed by the MK:U Innovation Hub, which since opening in February 2022, has seen over 100 SME leaders register, with 20-30 using the space on a daily basis.

The school itself is very effective at working with local SME suppliers in the region; at the time of assessment, the school has contracted 1,611, an increase of nearly 500 since the 2020-21 academic year. The value of these contracts to the local SME infrastructure is impressive, with a spend value of £20.6m in the last financial year.

Cranfield also has a clear dedication to supporting entrepreneurial education within the student cohort. The Bettany Centre within the School of Management is the focal point for entrepreneurship education delivery across the university, including a range of extracurricular programmes focusing on start-up and entrepreneurial mindset. Within the Centre, students also have access to SME leaders, often leading to the creation of live projects.

The Small Business Charter Award is a national accreditation, assessed by small business leaders, to recognise business schools which demonstrate excellence in supporting small businesses, student enterprise, and the local economy. Cranfield School of Management will hold the award for 5 years. There are 64 business schools that hold the SBC Award in the UK and Ireland.


Professor David Oglethorpe, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Cranfield School of Management said:

“I’m extremely proud of all the initiatives and valuable support that Cranfield provides to small businesses and our entrepreneurial students. To have this recognised by the Small Business Charter is a real achievement for everyone at the School of Management.”

“It also endorses our leading position in entrepreneurship, for which we were ranked second in the UK and seventh in Europe in the 2022 Bloomberg B-School rankings.  We look forward to continuing our excellent work with entrepreneurs and SMEs through all our programmes.”

Barney Roe, Interim Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools said:

“We’d like to congratulate Cranfield School of Management on its Small Business Charter Award. The breadth and impact of Cranfield on SMEs, the local economy and its student are a credit to the school and its innovative programmes. It is evident that the School of Management, and the dedicated Bettany Centre, play an important and holistic role in the SME ecosystem in the Bedfordshire region, and we look forward to working closely with the school in the future as it continues to extend its impact.”