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Leeds students at the cutting edge of marketing consultancy

Corporate insolvencies could increase to more than 60,000 over the next 18 months if the country dips into recession according to forecasts by the Credit Management Research Centre at Leeds University

The Credit Management Research Centre (CMRC) has been tracking the monthly changes in corporate insolvencies and county court judgement activity against UK companies.

The CMRC forecasting model projects that the insolvency rate will increase sharply over the next six months and into 2009. The worst case scenario suggests a continued increase in insolvencies reaching a peak in December 2009 with over 66,000 insolvencies occurring between July 2008 and December 2009. (see chart 1)

Professor Nick Wilson of the CMRC said: "These are very worrying figures and do not bode well for UK corporate sector - particularly for small to medium-sized businesses which suffer most in a down turn. The trend is being driven by a number of factors including the late payment of invoices and a rise in county court judgements which is forcing companies out of business."
Students deliver invaluable consultancy advice for online companies

Students at Leeds University Business School have helped online companies - The Executive Shaving Company and Roo Salon - identify and develop their overseas marketing and advertising activities.

As part of their degree, students studying the Postgraduate Masters degree in International Marketing Management are required to undertake a consultancy project to advise and assist businesses in developing and expanding their future market.

Kevin Nicholls, founder of The Executive Shaving Company, and Ashley Howard, Kevin's business partner and Director of Roo Salon, requested the students look at ways to market their products to both UK and overseas markets, as well as researching specific markets for hairdressing scissors and pouches.

Ashley said: "We have been extremely impressed with the students' efforts. Many of their recommendations have real value in taking our brand forward. More importantly, I could really see how the students adapted and developed their ideas over time."

Kevin added: "Both Ashley and I have found this exercise very useful and we are glad to have been asked to participate in the project. From a client's perspective, the benefits are huge."

Module Leader, Sally Chan, said: "These projects provide a vital part of the students' degree. Many of the participants come from different countries and different backgrounds and can bring a business understanding from overseas."

Some of the students on the course have also gained previous experience from earlier careers working in marketing in countries such as India, China and mainland Europe.

Sally added: "The students' previous experience can prove invaluable in the consultancy projects.

They are able to draw on their practical experience and knowledge of different markets to deliver insightful marketing plans for the companies involved."

Students were marked on their consultancy skills and presentation skills, with all participants receiving a reward for their contributions and hard work. Ashley Howard presented the winners with their prizes of free dinner sponsored by Thai Fever in Shipley and La Tasca in Leeds, and a free haircut sponsored by Box Creative Hairdressing in Leeds.

Sally added: "We can categorically say that we have some of the most well groomed and pampered students on campus this year."

For further information on how students could help your business contact:

Sally Chan at Leeds University Business School on 0113 3436847.

Further information about The Executive Shaving Company and Roo Salon can be found at and

For further information: 

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email

Notes to Editors:

1. Leeds University Business School is among the leading UK university-based business schools and continues to grow in size and reputation. The school is full-range, teaching more than 1,500 undergraduate and 500 postgraduate students from more than 50 countries.
It has its own faculty and its own high reputation for research. Leeds University Business School also has a history of successful partnerships with industry and commerce at local, national and international levels.

2. Members of the Faculty are at the forefront of major developments in basic and applied research across the fields of Business, Management, Accounting, Finance and Economics. Senior staff have held leadership positions and committee membership and advised major policy-making bodies and learned societies. These include the Academy of
International Business, the Academy of Management, the Economic and Social Research
Council's Training and Development and Research Grants Boards and the British Academy of Management.


3. Key achievements for Leeds University Business School include:

  • Leeds University Business school is ranked 48th in the world's top 100 business schools (source: Financial Times Global MBA 2008)
  • Ranked 52nd in the world (Which MBA? Economist 2007)
  • International Business at LUBS ranked world's number one for research, number seven for teaching
  • Ranked 13th equal for Business Studies (The Times Good University Guide 2007).
  • EQUIS and AMBA accredited.
  • CIPD accredited and ESRC recognized.

4. The University of Leeds is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK with more than 30,000 students from 130 countries. With a turnover of £450m, Leeds is one of the top ten research universities in the UK, and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. It was recently placed 80th in the Times Higher Educational Supplement's world universities league table and the University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015.

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