Posted Friday 6 June 2014
Kingston Business School is celebrating after achieving a Small Business Charter award in recognition of the role it has played in helping to kick-start British enterprise.
The Small Business Charter Award scheme - of which Kingston Business School is a trailblazing member - recognises universities which have, between them, already helped 4,700 students to find work placements in Britain's important micro-business and start-up sector.
Small Business Charter business schools in the United Kingdom have also directly helped more than 8,000 small businesses through workshops, mentoring and other business support. In addition, over 800 new businesses have already been started as a result of business schools like Kingston University.
The award ceremony took place at 10 Downing Street with Dr Martha Mador, head of enterprise education at Kingston, receiving the award on behalf of the University from 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. Dr Mador said the award was a significant achievement and recognised the University's work to date with the small business sector. "Kingston University consistently produces more graduate start-up companies than any other higher education institution in the UK," she explained. "This award will further enable us to share our expertise as well as encourage and facilitate enterprise in our local business community."
Rekha Mehr, interim managing director of the Small Business Charter, said that micro-businesses made up 95 per cent of UK businesses and played a crucial role in the structure of the UK economy. "We need to further their growth and the Small Business Charter recognises UK business schools which are doing just that," she added.
The award would bring significant benefits and mean that Kingston Business School would have the ability to play an active role in such schemes as Growth Vouchers and Growth Accelerators as well as start-up loans provided by the Government, Professor Robert Blackburn, director of Kingston University's Small Business Research Centre and member of the Small Business Charter Management Board said. This would provide the University with the potential opportunity to invest directly in new start-ups and entrepreneurs. "The idea is for business schools to act as 'anchor' institutions in the provision of support to small companies and help herald in a new era of growth and enterprise for the UK," Professor Blackburn said. "This means that, in addition to the services our staff and students will be offering to local companies, Kingston University will also be helping its own graduates to become entrepreneurs and set up small businesses."
The Small Business Charter was created following the release of Lord Young's report 'Growing Your Business'. The report recommended that business and industry, business schools and entrepreneurs work 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 offer a springboard to unlock support and investment for students, start-ups and small businesses.
Kingston University Vice-Chancellor Professor Julius Weinberg said that Kingston's achievement in securing the award demonstrated it was a major player in this new and vital network. "This shows how serious we are about being a key engine for economic growth and development both locally and nationally," he added. "I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership and celebrating the achievement of more awards in this scheme in the future."