School of Business recognised for support to local enterprise

The University of Leicester School of Business has today (Monday) been recognised for its contribution to local businesses and entrepreneurs through renewal of the Small Business Charter award.

The Chartered Association of Business Schools-backed award is a nationally-recognised mark of excellence and was first awarded to the University in 2014.

Renewed accreditation will allow the School of Business to build on existing support for small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) through a range of projects, which will further embed the University’s commitment to the regional economic ecosystem, and enhance its offering on a national and global scale.

The School of Business already delivers a number of initiatives designed to develop local enterprise, including the fully-funded Small Business Leadership Programme for SMEs facing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with future planned programmes such as Help to Grow: Management.

Professor Paul Baines, Professor of Political Marketing and Associate Dean (Business and Civic Engagement) at the University of Leicester, said:

“We are delighted to have regained the Small Business Charter (SBC) Award for a further three years. The University of Leicester School of Business, working with the Leicester Innovation Hub and the wider University are very proud of our work with SMEs regionally, nationally and internationally, and the positive impact our collaboration has had on these businesses, especially in these difficult times.

“The SBC reaccreditation has allowed us to strengthen our offer to SMEs, particularly in the areas of small business leadership programmes and innovation schemes, focused academic research and also in support of student start-up, placements and enterprise in the curriculum.

“We remain committed to improving the productivity and resilience of SMEs and working with them to share innovation expertise.”

Anne Kiem OBE, Executive Director of the Small Business Charter and Chief Executive of the Chartered Association of Business Schools, said:

“We are delighted that the University of Leicester School of Business have again demonstrated the incredibly valuable contributions they make to small businesses and their local economy. The work that they do to help businesses grow and to support students into entrepreneurship has lasting impacts in their regional economy.

“Having a business school like this on the doorstep of local businesses is fantastic for our recovery, regionally and nationally.

“Following the announcement that the nationwide Help to Grow: Management programme will be delivered through business schools accredited by the Small Business Charter, we are pleased that the University of Leicester School of Business will continue to be a part of the SBC.”

Professor Henrietta O’Connor, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities at the University of Leicester, said:

“To see the School of Business recognised once again for its contribution and support for local enterprise is fantastic.

“We look forward to continuing our University-wide work as a key pillar of the East Midlands economy, especially as the region seeks to bounce back from the effects of COVID-19.”

The University’s commitment to regional economic growth is underpinned by the bringing together of activities in the School of Business, Leicester Innovation Hub and Space Park Leicester to provide opportunities for business growth and innovation.

Leicester Innovation Hub is funded by the European Regional Development Fund to support Leicester- and Leicestershire-based SMEs and enable them in developing new products, services, and processes and accessing talent, funding and skills for innovation projects.

Space Park Leicester, set to open in Summer 2021, offers further business support for space research enterprises like start-up LENKÉ Space and Water Solutions through its European Space Agency (ESA) Business Incubation Centre.

The University is also joint headline sponsor of the LeicestershireLive Innovation Awards, as well as sponsoring the Innovation in Space category, Lifetime Achievement Award and Innovator of the Year.