Four Business Schools win prestigious Small Business Charter awards

The Small Business Charter, an award bringing together world-class business schools and SME communities across the UK, is pleased to announce four business schools have received Small Business Charter awards in recognition of their work in supporting small businesses, start-ups and their local economy.

Following a rigorous assessment Cumbria Business School, Leicester Business School De Montfort University, Portsmouth Business School and Staffordshire University Business School were given awards. These schools now make up 31 award winning business schools across the UK who continue to help start-ups and small businesses.

Ian McNaught, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter, said:

"We are delighted to award the Small Business Charter to four business schools after a further round of rigorous assessments. We continue to be impressed by the level of investment and innovation showcased by schools passionate about providing core services and consultation programmes to SMEs and start-ups. Business schools are vital to the local lifeblood of the economy – their world class business expertise can have a huge positive impact to regional and national economic growth. Our 31 award-winning business schools are dedicated to making a long lasting change to the productivity and vibrant initiatives happening across the country.”

Sandra Booth, Pro Vice Chancellor Enterprise-Business Development & Engagement, at the University of Cumbria said:

“The University is extremely proud to achieve the Small Business Charter bronze award. Whilst, as one of the UK's newest universities and we are still a relative new start-up ourselves in the world of business and enterprise, this award recognises our commitment and the strength of our broad-range of programmes to support business enterprise and growth. Particularly, amongst small businesses who are the backbone of the Cumbrian economy.”

“I am especially proud of the Business School and our dedicated staff at the Business Interaction Centres who have channelled their research, training, knowledge, expertise and mentoring to support 100s of growing businesses and our own student start-ups.”

Paul Williams, Head of Staffordshire University Business School also commented on the significance of the award to his university:

“This is an important recognition and celebration of the significant role of Staffordshire University Business School in promoting small business engagement and in supporting and developing SME growth in the region. The award also demonstrates the excellent commitment of our staff, students and other stakeholders in stimulating enterprise and entrepreneurship activities through practice-based learning and applied research.”

Professor Cillian Ryan, Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law at Leicester Business School said the award was testament to talent and skills of his staff:

“I am absolutely delighted to be able to tell you that we heard today that we have been awarded a Silver Award, one of a select group of 13 universities to achieve this level. This outcome is testimony to the great partnership we have with colleagues in and around the city and region and we look forward to continuing to work with you to serve the needs of the small business community.”

Associate Dean of Portsmouth Business School, David Smith, said:  “We are very proud of having achieved this recognition and we are passionate to continue to improve the good work we already do with our small business partners and our students.”

The Small Business Charter awards were established by the Chartered Association of Business Schools, Lord Young and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills in order to connect SMEs with world class business school knowledge, facilities and networks.

56% of small business failures are attributed to bad management. University business schools awarded with Small Business Charter awards have already directly helped over 18,750 small businesses – working with them through a range of support including on-site incubators with dedicated space for students and small businesses to start up and grow; dedicated Small Business Growth & Leadership programmes; and strong full time support networks of alumni and local business experts supporting both students and small businesses. These business schools have helped 10,800 students to find work placements in Britain’s exciting micro-business and start-up sector.