Small Business Charter news update from Ian McNaught

November has been a busy month for the Small Business Charter and I am pleased to share with you a number of developments that have occurred over the last month and some forthcoming opportunities:

Growth Voucher Programme:

The consortium of six business schools are preparing to undertake the diagnostic workshops and progress to delivering the ten growth voucher workshops, followed by the business mentoring support.

Details of the programme are at

Start-Up Loans Programme:

Following on from a productive meeting with 31 business schools in London, the Small Business Charter has released a questionnaire inviting schools’ inputs relative to a Small Business Charter Start-Up Loans programme. The analysis and commonality identified from this questionnaire will inform the structure and framework of a forthcoming Start Up Loans programme proposal.

We will be back in touch late December with some proposals.

Small Business Charter Awards:

Assessor Training:

Small Business Charter Assessor training was completed on the 12 November in both Leeds and London.

Professor Richard Thorpe from Leeds University Business School led the London session and Professor Mark Hart from Aston Business School led the session at Leeds.

This is a continuous improvement opportunity to streamline the assessment process and to improve the process reflecting upon feedback and lessons learnt.The Assessors were chosen for their previous experience of assessing as SME’s, or as Academic Assessors from Charter schools.

A big thank you to Richard, Mark and to all who attended. We plan to repeat the assessor training session early in 2015 and hope to accommodate the assessors who were unable to attend the 12 November event.

Charter Awards:

The Small Business Charter continues to invite applications from business schools across the UK to apply for the Small Business Charter Award.

We are now planning assessment visits in January 2015 for the schools who have submitted applications.

Exploratory Discussions, Consultations & Collaborations

The Small Business Charter is presently exploring the viability of an Entrepreneurship programme and a Start-Up programme.

We have been consulting with a number of the business schools to gauge interest in these programmes and we continue to welcome your input into the potential content and structure.

These discussions are ongoing with a number of potential stakeholders.

And finally…..

We’re always pleased to receive suggestions for news items. Please do get in touch at to submit your updates with us.

Ian McNaught

Executive Director of the Small Business Charter