Small business campaigner appointed Chair of Small Business Charter

Michelle Ovens appointed to drive awareness of business school support for SMEs

Small business campaigner Michelle Ovens MBE has been appointed Chair of the Small Business Charter Management Board. The role will see her lead the drive to raise awareness of the support available to small businesses and entrepreneurs from business schools across the UK.

The Small Business Charter Award is a kitemark for business schools with excellent standards of support for SMEs, student entrepreneurs and their local economies. Launched in 2014 by the Prime Minister’s enterprise advisor Lord Young, the Chartered Association of Business Schools and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, there are now 37 business schools  across the UK which hold the Small Business Charter Award.

As Director for Small Business Saturday, a campaign to support, inspire and promote small businesses, Michelle Ovens has overseen the growth of the campaign to reach 115 million people in 2017. Michelle also oversees a number of other high profile national campaigns including The Small Awards ("The Smalls") which celebrates the smallest and greatest of businesses; f:entrepreneur which shines a light on female entrepreneurs; and the Do It Digital campaign which has helped 1 million small businesses with their digital skills.

Michelle Ovens will bring her extensive experience of engaging with small businesses to help business schools with a Small Business Charter Award to forge bonds with SMEs and benefit the wider economy. Speaking about her appointment, Michelle said: “Business schools are vibrant hubs of expertise and innovation, so harnessing these to support the small business sector is critical to both UK productivity and stronger business communities across the country. This is why I am so pleased and honoured to be appointed as Chair of the Small Business Charter and I look forward to working with the Board and the sector to deliver on its great potential.”

Lord Young said: “In today’s economy, with the increasing importance of small and medium-sized firms, the work of the Small Business Charter is more relevant than ever and I am delighted that Michelle Ovens has accepted the position as Chair. I look forward to the time, under her leadership, when a majority of business schools will hold the Small Business Charter Award, to the great benefit of small firms in our economy.”

Anne Kiem, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools welcomed the appointment: “Michelle brings tremendous energy and a passion for small businesses to the role. Her insights into how to engage small businesses as well as her relationships with government make her an excellent appointment. We are excited to work with her to maximise the impact of the Small Business Charter for business schools and small businesses alike.”

 

About Michelle Ovens MBE

Michelle is a Director of small businesses and campaigns, working across sectors including government, big business and media.

As Director of peak b Ltd, she oversees a number of high profile national campaigns, delivered both online and in communities across the UK. This includes The Small Awards ("The Smalls") to celebrate the smallest and greatest of businesses, and f:entrepreneur to shine a light on female entrepreneurs.

She is Director for Small Business Saturday in the UK, a campaign to support, inspire and promote small businesses, on the day and beyond. She is responsible for delivering and growing the campaign across the UK and has been since its launch in 2013. She works closely with central government, local government, small business groups, big businesses, small businesses and all forms of media.

Michelle is also Director of Do It Digital, a campaign launched in 2015 to encourage and support the UK's 5 million small businesses to better engage with digital. In 2017, the Do It Digital campaign is helped 1 million small businesses with their digital skills.

Michelle advises government and the private sector on small business policy and engagement.

Prior to running national small business campaigns, Michelle ran a small business strategy consultancy for ten years, after completing her MBA at London Business School. Michelle was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours 2015 for Services to Enterprise.