University of Portsmouth staff explore the benefits of the Small Business Charter award and what it means to their University.

On Friday 9th March, The University of Portsmouth welcomed colleagues across the institution and businesses they work with to the city to recognise the great work with small businesses that has led to the university’s award and help to further raise awareness internally of the opportunities available from the Small Business Charter (SBC).

Over a lively lunch, staff members from across the institution, Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIR) and Portsmouth City Council contacts, networked and learned what the SBC award means to the university and the positive impact it brings to the staff, students and engagement with small businesses. There was a keen sense of discovery as academics and support staff talked face-to-face about recent successful initiatives and the future opportunities for mutual benefit.

Since gaining the SBC award,  it has been apparent that colleagues are not fully aware of the award benefits, and the event was all about raising awareness. While many examples of best practice and case studies come from within the Faculty of Business and Law, other faculties have some excellent examples of student enterprise and small business engagement.

Peter Hooley, the Director of Business Development said, “It was heartening to see colleagues from diverse and broad backgrounds exchanging stories and seeing the opportunity to work together.  With such a diverse set of faculties there is often overlap and events like this bring these capabilities together.  In only a short time academics working in social computing were connecting with business contacts both internally and externally, for example”.

Pat Smith, Small Business Manager at the university, who is responsible for overseeing the programmes and activities associated with the 31 dimensions of the SBC said, “Whilst the award  sits within the Faculty of Business and Law, the award is in respect of the university as a whole, so it is important that colleagues know what is measured and the significance this has on the delivery of events for our students and small businesses . The support of Portsmouth City Council is key and shows the city’s willingness to collaborate. The fact that three of our five Entrepreneurs in Residence attended our informal drop-in session today, is a testament to the willingness and appetite of businesses to engage with the university.”

Graeme Quar, a recently appointed EIR said  “I learnt  a great deal from the event, and  look forward to supporting the university in my  capacity as an EIR.”

As a result of this event,  greater reach has been established across the university and i academics have been identified who are keen to be involved with the SBC agenda.  This type of event is recommended to other business schools who want to drive engagement with the wider university in the design and delivery of the small business initiatives.

If you would like to find out more about working with The University of Portsmouth please visit or contact Pat Smith, Small Business Manager. The University of Portsmouth