UWE Bristol wins Small Business Charter

Issue date: 06 June 2014

Professor Jane Harrington (right) and Kalpna Woolfe collecting the award at No 10

The University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) is one of 20 Universities awarded the Small Business Charter at Downing Street at a special ceremony yesterday.

The awards were presented by 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. Professor Jane Harrington, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law and Kalpna Woolfe from the Local Enterprise Partnership collected the award on behalf of the University.

Professor Jane Harrington said, “This award is very significant and reflects the enormous amount of work we do with small businesses in the region. We are delighted to be part of this prestigious group of just 20 business schools in the UK and the award means that we can access funds to increase our work and assist business in the region to grow in scale and scope.

“We had to apply for the award which was judged by a team of business school enterprise specialists, small business representatives and enterprise UK representatives. We believe that we stood out particularly in programme innovation with a special mention going to our innovative Team Entrepreneurship programme. We also believe that the judges were very impressed with the range of consultancy projects lead by MBA students. There has to be a special mention also to the number of our graduates who go on to set up their own businesses with support from the university.

“The judges praised the reach that our students have with businesses in the region through our internships and long established highly successful placement scheme available to all of our students during their study with us.”

The Small Business Charter originated following Lord Young's report 'Growing Your Business', which was aimed at bringing business schools, business and entrepreneurs closer together to deliver real change.

Supported by the Association of Business Schools, Lord Young and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Small Business Charter Awards offers a springboard to unlocking support and investment for students, start-ups and small businesses. The Charter also follows the Association of Business Schools' Innovation Taskforce report.

Congratulating the Small Business Charter award-winners for their trail-blazing work, Lord Young – an adviser to the Prime Minister on small business and enterprise, said, “The recipients of today's 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.”

Rekha Mehr, interim Managing Director, Small Business Charter, said, “Micro-businesses make up 95% of UK businesses and play a crucial role in the structure of our economy. We need to further their growth and the Small Business Charter recognizes UK business schools who are doing just that. Our accredited schools have made real impact in the last 18 months, directly supporting over 8,000 businesses, placing over 4,700 students on real business projects and helping students to start over 800 new businesses.”

Michael Hayman, Co-founder Seven Hills and StartUp Britain and member of the Small Business Charter Management Board, said, “The Small Business Charter unleashes the full potential of business schools as an asset for British enterprise. The schools celebrated today are set to become a nationwide network of entrepreneur-focused hubs for talent, creativity and ideas. The work underway and the work to come is about backing growth by realising new sources of skill and innovation. The schools are a national asset enhancing both the scale up potential of existing firms and supercharging the UK's energetic start up culture. Today is an important point of recognition for the twenty pioneering schools that are exemplars of academia providing an infrastructure for the growth of small businesses. It is a culture of collaboration that is set to be accelerated as the Charter becomes a hallmark of national enterprise excellence.”

For more information about the Small Business Charter - http://smallbusinesscharter.org/

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