World class universities helping British business to boom

Lord Young of Graffham welcomed academics and small business founders to the House of Lords on Monday 4 June for the Small Business Charter summer reception. The event celebrated the growing partnership between the country’s top business schools and its vibrant SME economy.

They were joined by the Minister for Small Businesses, Andrew Griffiths MP, to commend the work of the Small Business Charter; an award given to esteemed business schools who support and develop the management of UK small businesses.

The event brought together more than 250 attendees from across the business community, to hear from leading voices in the sector including Lord Young and Andrew Griffiths, as well as Managing Director of Xero, Gary Turner and Chair of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, Simon Collinson.

A key aim of the Small Business Charter is to utilise the resources of business schools to supercharge UK productivity, by employing their expertise to support SME founders who have an entrepreneurial mindset, but little training in management and business development.

37 business schools have been awarded the Charter since 2014, and the House of Lords event served as a further call to action from Lord Young. The former Secretary of State for Trade and Industry developed the Charter, which is now chaired by Director of Small Business Saturday and founder of The Small Awards, Michelle Ovens MBE.

Lord Young of Graffham said: “The Small Business Charter brings together our world class business schools with our fabulous small and medium-sized businesses. When we set up the Charter in 2014, I had high hopes for the number of business schools who would want to engage with small businesses. I am delighted at how far we have come, but there is still much more we can do.”

Andrew Griffiths, Small Business Minister, said: “The Small Business Charter is playing a key role in improving management skills right across the country. Taking simple steps to boost productivity could add up to £100 billion to the UK economy, which is why as part of our modern Industrial Strategy we have launched a review of how best to support business in boosting their earning power.”