Leeds University Business School is one of only three in the country to land a prestigious new gold standard Small Business Charter Award for its role in helping kick-start British enterprise.
The Business School received the award today at 10 Downing Street as part of the Small Business Charter Award scheme, which aims to encourage greater levels of engagement between business schools and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), to help the economy to grow.
Nationally, the scheme has already helped 4,700 students find work placements in Britains micro-business and start-up sector. Small Business Charter business schools have directly helped more than 8,000 small businesses working with them through workshops, mentoring and other business support. More than 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of Small Business Charter schools.
The award is a major boost for LUBS and reflects its strength in providing support for SMEs and fostering enterprise in the region. Since 2008, the Business School has provided courses and educational and training initiatives for almost 500 companies in the north of England and Yorkshire that have supported economic growth. Workshops and courses for businesses on marketing, social media, HR, tendering and procurement run regularly at the Business School.
The award brings significant benefits it means that LUBS will have the ability to play an active role in schemes such as Growth Vouchers, Growth Accelerators and Start-Up Loans provided by the Government allowing the business school to directly invest in new start-ups and entrepreneurs.
Professor Peter Moizer, Dean of Leeds University Business School, said: We already play a significant role in fostering enterprise and supporting and engaging with businesses in the region. The award of this Charter, which reflects the commitment and hard work of staff at the Business School, will support our efforts to build on these foundations and will help us to move this work up a gear.
A team from LUBS received the award from Lord Young, an adviser to the Prime Minister on small business and enterprise, and Sir Peter Bonfield, chair of The Small Business Charter Management Board and former chairman of BT.
Lord Young said: The recipients of todays award have all demonstrated exceptional dedication to improving links with and supporting small businesses in their local area, already creating over 800 jobs. Our world-class universities and business schools are a key part of the UK economy even more so as a result of this initiative. I hope that these awards will be the first of many and build on the outstanding work our business schools do to boost enterprise locally.
Sir Peter Bonfield CBE FReng, Chair of the Small Business Charter Management Board, said: I am delighted to be involved with the Small Business Charter. This is an exciting initiative which recognises the value of small businesses. We have a tremendous opportunity to nurture innovation and enterprise and support the next generation of great British entrepreneurs.
The Small Business Charter was proposed in May 2013, when Lord Young, the Prime Ministers Enterprise Advisor, published the report Growing Your Business, which recommended its creation.
In October 2013, Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GlaxoSmithKline plc and Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, produced his report, Review of Universities and Growth, in which he recommended strengthening links between business schools and small businesses.
The Association of Business Schools (ABS) was tasked by Government with delivering the Small Business Charter. Professors Richard Thorpe (Pro-Dean for Research) and Nigel Lockett (Professor of Enterprise) of Leeds University Business School have subsequently been involved in the development of the initiative, making LUBS a recognised 'trailblazing' Business School.
Dr Vassiliki Bamiatzi, lecturer in strategy and entrepreneurship, Dr Richard Tunstall, lecturer in enterprise, Dr Sarah Underwood, Deputy Director of the Leeds Enterprise Centre and Rob Whieldon were among the first official assessors for the Small Business Charter.
For more information about the SBC, visit www.smallbusinesscharter.org.
Find out more about the Association of Business Schools Innovation Taskforce