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Leeds University Business School awarded Small Business Charter


Leeds University Business School has been awarded the Small Business Charter award, which is a mark of excellence for business schools.

The Small Business Charter is a UK award that celebrates the role business schools play in supporting small businesses, local economies and student entrepreneurship. Leeds University Business School has been awarded the accreditation for three years and has been given exemplar status for its entrepreneur-in-residence ‘Enterprise Ambassador’ programme and its unique cross-university student ‘With Enterprise’ programmes.

Julia Bennell, Executive Dean of Leeds University Business School commented:

The exemplars recognise true excellence and to receive two is outstanding.

I’m delighted that our enterprise ambassador programme and our student enterprise capabilities have been acknowledged in this way. They both reflect our commitment to creating an environment where students, researchers, entrepreneurs and business leaders can connect and co-create for mutual benefit. This award is recognition of the great work undertaken by colleagues from across the Business School and University of Leeds and I would like to thank them for their efforts."

The award is only given after a significant assessment period that included the business school presenting evidence to an assessor panel. The evidence included showcasing our wide range of initiatives, projects and support for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

Dr Richard Tunstall, Academic Director of Enterprise at the University of Leeds commented:

“The panel emphasised how our unique interdisciplinary approach, Enterprise Ambassador entrepreneur network and targeted student start-up support, has led to a unique offering with real impact for our graduates and the wider Leeds community.”

The Small Business Charter accreditation is further recognition that Leeds is offering one of the UK’s leading student enterprise ecosystems.

The panel were particularly impressed by SPARK, the University’s start-up support initiative which provides a comprehensive package of support for student entrepreneurs, and the work of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies, which acts as the focal point for enterprise education and research.

Kairen Skelley, Head of Business Start-up at SPARK commented: “Applying for the Small Business Charter has highlighted the important collaboration of teams across the University, local businesses and alumni to create a powerful cycle of support and innovation amongst graduate entrepreneurs.”

Professor Diane Holt, Director of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Leeds University Business School commented:

This award showcases the significant strengths of the Centre for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Studies in delivering world-class entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurship-related research and our impactful work with entrepreneurs and SMEs.

The Business School also offers a range of support for small business leaders through its Centre for Executive and Professional Education, including the government-funded Peer Networks. Susanne Marchant, Head of Enterprise Programmes, works with a number of SME business leaders as part of Peer Networks:

“This award recognises the quality of our educational programmes and networking opportunities delivered both locally, nationally and internationally over the last decade. We have the skills, knowledge and research to offer small businesses and entrepreneurs something truly valuable to their organisation. We respond to the latest trends and can be a real driver in supporting regional productivity and developing the local workforce.”

On a personal level it’s been wonderful to work with so many talented students, entrepreneurs and small business leaders and watch their businesses grow with our support.

Read more about the Small Business Charter.