Lincoln International Business School awarded the Small Business Charter

Lincoln International Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter Award in recognition of its commitment to supporting small businesses, student entrepreneurship, and the local economy.

The panel were impressed by the breadth of engagement and support that Lincoln provided for local SMEs through initiatives such as the Peer Support Mentoring Programme, as well as a number of leadership masterclasses on a range of subjects including resilient leadership, responsible leadership and emotional leadership – these masterclasses were attended by almost 200 SMEs throughout the assessment period.

LIBS has also demonstrated a solid commitment to student entrepreneurship. The school is home to three business incubation facilities, including Sparkhouse, a start-up facility run by the school’s Research and Enterprise team. The core modules of the BA Business and Entrepreneurship degree programme are delivered within Sparkhouse, enabling students to work closely on real-life projects with SMEs accessing the facility. Over the course of the assessment period, 27 SMEs utilised the facility, alongside 30 student start-ups; students were particularly complimentary about the 24/7 support offered by Sparkhouse over the course of the pandemic.

Lincoln International Business School has a dedicated Student Enterprise Coordinator who provides student start-ups with support, delivers content on the enterprise modules within the curriculum and works closely to create a wealth of joined up activity between the business school and the Sparkhouse facility.

The level of student employability support offered by LIBS is highly commendable. The school has a dedicated careers and employability service, which includes initiatives such as CareerLinc sessions, where the careers team promote the benefits of working with SMEs and the ‘Find Your Feet’ careers fair which is promoted heavily to SMEs in the region. The school also has an embedded Careers and Employability module which is delivered to almost all first year undergraduates – this module has a strong focus on SME employment, with guest lectures provided by local SMEs and returning alumni.

The school also offers a Professional Practice Year – a 12 month work placement available to all undergraduates; over 50% of the organisations offering placements to students over the assessment period were local SMEs. Further to this, LIBS offers a centrally run internship scheme in conjunction with Santander, where SME employers can access part funding to take on a University of Lincoln intern. Over the assessment period, 50% of the internship positions taken up were by students from LIBS.

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. Lincoln International Business School will hold the award for 3 years. There are now 57 business schools that hold the SBC Award in the UK and Ireland.


Dr Craig Marsh, Pro Vice Chancellor and Head of Lincoln International Business School at the University of Lincoln, said:

“We are delighted to be awarded Small Business Charter accreditation. This achievement is testament to the strength and depth of our relationships with our regional businesses.

“As a Business School at the heart of a Civic University we are passionate about the contribution we make to the development and growth of our region through skills development, mentoring, knowledge transfer, and our applied research to solving real world challenges.

“This recognition will allow us now to benefit from best practices across like-minded accredited schools across the UK, and in particular it will enable us to engage in the Government’s aspiration of supporting and developing 30,000 SME leaders across the UK through their Help to Grow scheme.”


Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools said:

“We’d like to congratulate the Lincoln International Business School on their attainment of the Small Business Charter Award, given in recognition of their support for student entrepreneurship, small business and their local economy. The opportunities they provide to foster student entrepreneurship are a fantastic part of a package to support businesses and stimulate growth in the region.”