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Thursday 5 June 2014

Solent just one of 20 universities to win business award

Southampton Solent’s Business School is celebrating after becoming one of only 20 universities – and the only institution on the south coast – to attain the Small Business Charter Award today, in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise.

The Small Business Charter Award scheme – which Southampton Solent Business School is a trailblazer member of – has already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain’s exciting micro-business and start-up sector.

Small Business Charter business schools have directly helped over 8000 small businesses – working with them through workshops, mentoring and other business support. Over 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of Small Business Charter schools.

By receiving the award, Southampton Solent Business School has demonstrated exceptional dedication to helping improve links with and support the small business community in the local area.

University staff and students work on consultancy projects and provide expert advice to local SMEs.  It also provides professional networks – in human resources management, law, retail and marketing – giving students, academics and business the opportunity to network, share knowledge and continue professional development. It provides incubator space for up to 20 SMEs, ‘seed funding’ of approximately £80k per annum and hosts numerous employability and enterprise events, awards and societies. The University’s Solent Enterprise Centre also helps develop commercial partnerships both in the UK and overseas.

Professor Georgina Andrews, Director of Southampton Solent Business School will accept the award from Lord Young on behalf of the University. She said, “This award recognises our excellent partnership working with regional business and enterprise, and highlights our growing influence on the development of the regional, national and international economy.”

The award brings significant benefits – it means that Southampton Solent Business School 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 – meaning they can directly invest in new start-ups and entrepreneurs.

The Small Business Charter Award ceremony took place today (5 June 2014) at 10 Downing Street. 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.

The Dean of the Faculty of Business, Sport and Enterprise and Professor Georgina Andrews outside number 10 Downing Street with the Small Business Charter awarded

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 business.  It is a culture of collaboration that is set to be accelerated as the Charter becomes a hallmark of national enterprise excellence.”

The 20 business schools being awarded the Small Business Charter are:

  • Aston University, Aston Business School
  • Coventry University, Coventry Business School
  • Edinburgh Napier Business School
  • Kingston University, Kingston Business School
  • Lancaster University Management School
  • Loughborough University School of Business and Economics
  • Manchester Metropolitan University Business
  • Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham Business School
  • Southampton Solent University, Faculty of Business, Sport & Enterprise
  • University College London, Department of Management Science and Innovation
  • University of Birmingham, Birmingham Business School
  • University of Leeds, Leeds University Business
  • University of Leicester School of Management
  • University of Liverpool Management School
  • University of Northampton Business School
  • University of Nottingham, Nottingham University Business School
  • University of Salford, Salford Business School
  • University of Strathclyde, Strathclyde Business School
  • University of the West of England, Bristol Business School
  • University of Wolverhampton Business School

For more information about the SBC: