Latest update on the Small Business Charter from Ian McNaught

The Small Business Charter has been very busy since my last update before Christmas. Here, I share news of our progress and forthcoming opportunities for Charter awarded business schools.

Growth Voucher Programme:

The consortium of business schools are working cohesively recruiting and conducting the SME diagnostic workshops and preparing to deliver the ten growth voucher workshops, followed by the business mentoring support.

Further details can be found on the webpage:

Building Growth Businesses Programme:

The Small Business Charter Growth Accelerator programme has evolved into Building Growth Businesses (BGB) and Grant Thornton is now marketing the programme and recruiting senior managers. The business school consortium has scheduled the series of workshops to deliver the programme over February to June 2015.

The Small Business Charter is delighted to welcome the University of the West of England (UWE) as the ninth member of the BGB business school consortium.

BGB incorporates two programmes:

Growth Leaders programme []
Team Based Leaders programme []

Start-Up Loans Programme:

An SBC Start-Up Loans programme framework will be proposed to the SBC management board for consideration and, pending support, will be shared with the Charter award schools inviting their participation. This is an outcome of our previous discussions and analysis of the questionnaire.

Exploratory Discussions, Consultations & Collaborations:

Exploratory Start-Up Programme:

The Small Business Charter has sustained involvement in exploring the viability of a HE Start-Up programme with a number of stakeholders.

We have been consulting with a number of the business schools relative to your interest in these programmes and requesting your input into the potential content and structure. The collective stakeholders will be submitting an outline proposal for consideration.

Exploratory Entrepreneurship Programme:

Our ABS colleague Dr. Giovanna Bono has identified a European Entrepreneurship funding call with a deadline of 26 February 2015.

As a very brief summary, which requires further work, this programme is looking to develop entrepreneurship mind-set and skills and establish knowledge alliances. The framework consists of setting up a network across 3 European countries;  involving six partners;  of which at least two need to be higher education institutions and two SMEs.

Interested charter schools are invited to make contact if you would like to form a SBC proposal

Small Business Charter Engagement – An update:

Innovate UK:

The Small Business Charter formed a consortium and submitted a Charter business school proposal for the recent Innovate UK entrepreneurship bids. Our consortium were shortlisted and Strathclyde University presented our proposal immediately before Christmas.

The 14 strong Charter school consortium had depth of expertise and breadth of delivery with an existing UK infrastructure. Unfortunately we were not awarded the bids. We look forward to engaging with Innovate UK for their future needs.

Business School Visits:

Since December the SBC has visited several business schools to learn more about each specific university/business school and to provide charter award feedback.

Visits have been made to the following schools:

  • University of the West of England
  • Leeds University Business School
  • Edinburgh Napier University
  • Edinburgh University
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Salford
  • London Metropolitan University
  • Southampton Solent University
  • University of the West of Scotland
  • University of Buckingham
  • University of East London.

These visits will be sustained as we strive to develop our network and consortiums.

Holyrood Parliament:

The Small Business Charter participated in an event hosted by Mr Hugh Henry MSP at the Holyrood Parliament in Edinburgh.

The Chartered Management Institute Scotland Board presented ‘Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders Today’ in the Member’s Room and the Small Business Charter participated in the presentation. Professor Lynn Martin and Dr Tamara McNeill of Manchester Metropolitan University, an SBC Charter award business school, presented some entrepreneurship research focusing on the ‘people aspects’ relevant to leaders and managers. This is possibly the first time the Small Business Charter was mentioned in the Scottish Parliament, but hopefully not the last!

SBC Workshop: Best Practice on Applying, Upgrading and Evidencing Impacts

Professor Nigel Lockett and colleagues from Leeds University Business School (LUBS) are hosting a mentoring workshop on Wednesday 11 February (12:00-16:00) with the objective of illustrating good practice in relation to charter award evidence and impacts. This is relevant to business schools who wish to reapply, apply for an upgrade or apply for the first time.

The SBC has invited all awarded schools and all schools in our pipeline. Please do get in touch if you would like to attend.

We currently have 20 business schools and 27 individuals registered to attend.

As always, your input is welcome. Please do get in touch